Personal computer adventure games : Their structure, principles, and applicability for training

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-91
Journal / PublicationData Base for Advances in Information Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


Personal computer adventure games, in which the player assumes the role of a fantasy character to pursue an adventure, have enjoyed enormous popularity and commercial success. Beyond their entertainment value, these games also have an educational value, training users to become better problem solvers in the game domain and probably beyond. In order to understand better this type of game and determine its potential use for managerial training, we analyzed adventure games with respect to three issues. First, what makes a computer simulation an adventure game; second, what makes such a game enjoyable and challenging; and finally, how well does such a game facilitate learning? In search of answers, we analyzed a number of adventure games to determine game structures, and completed a small empirical study in which subjects played a game and had to answer both content and preference related questions. Overall, our analysis reconfirmed people's liking of adventure games. Players seem to enjoy the games' story and interface, and are challenged by the game tasks. Players also learn from gaming; yet levels of learning vary widely, based on the type of knowledge to be conveyed. Fact learning proved to be easiest; plan learning and learning of negative knowledge, the hardest.

Research Area(s)

  • Adventure game, Learning, Simulation, Software development, Training