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Makahiki and SGSEAM: Design and Evaluation of a Serious Game Framework for Sustainability and Stakeholder Experience Assessment Method

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Item Summary

Title:Makahiki and SGSEAM: Design and Evaluation of a Serious Game Framework for Sustainability and Stakeholder Experience Assessment Method
Authors:Xu, Yongwen
Date Issued:Aug 2015
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2015]
Abstract:Sustainability education and conservation have become an international imperative due to the
rising cost of energy, increasing scarcity of natural resource and irresponsible environmental practices. Over the past decade, running energy and water challenges is the focal point for sustainability
efforts at both university and industry campuses. Designers of such challenges typically have three
choices for information technology: (a) build their own custom in-house solution; (b) out-source to a commercial provider; or (c) use a minimal tech solution such as a web page and manual posting of data and results.
None of these choices are ideal: the custom in-house solution requires sophisticated design and implementation skills; out-sourcing can be financially expensive and impedes evolution; and the minimal tech solution does not fully leverage the possibilities of advanced information technology.
To provide a better alternative to these three choices, I have led an effort over the past years to design and implement an open source serious game framework for sustainability called Makahiki.
Makahiki implements an extensible framework with a variety of common services for developing
sustainability games including authentication; game mechanics such as leaderboards, points, and
badges; a variety of built-in games and content focused in sustainability, a responsive user interface, cloud-based deployment, and the ability to customize to the needs of individual organizations.
Makahiki lowers the overhead to those who would build a custom in-house solution by providing pre-built components. It can lower the financial cost to those who would out-source by providing an open source alternative. Finally, it provides an opportunity for those who would choose a minimal tech solution to instead provide more sophisticated information technology.
To provide initial evidence regarding the ability of the Makahiki framework to support sustainability
games in different environments, we ran seven challenges at four organizations: The University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, the East-West Center and Holy Nativity School. While these experiences provided anecdotal evidence for the usefulness of Makahiki, we realized that a more rigorous evaluation of the framework would yield better quality insight into its current quality and requirements for future enhancement.
Upon review of the literature, we found little research or experience with formal serious game framework assessment. To address this, I have embarked on research to design an assessment mechanism for serious game frameworks, called Serious Game Stakeholder Experience Assessment Method (SGSEAM). SGSEAM is designed to provide detailed insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a serious game framework through a stakeholder perspective based approach. In my research, I applied SGSEAM to Makahiki in order to gain better insight into its strengths and
weaknesses as a serious game framework.
The contributions of my research thus includes: the Makahiki as the serious game framework for sustainability; the SGSEAM assessment method; the insights into creating and running a variety of real-world serious games for sustainability in different organizations; the insights into managing cloud based serious games; and the insights into serious game framework design and assessment method generated through application of SGSEAM to Makahiki. I hope this research will be of interest to researchers and practitioners across several disciplines: software engineering, game design, and sustainability research.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Computer Science

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