Developing a digital game to support cultural learning amongst immigrants

Dunwell, Ian; Lameras, Petros; Stewart, Craig; Petridis, Pangiotis; Arnab, Sylvester; Hendrix, Maurice; de Freitas, Sara; Gaved, Mark; Schuller, Björn and Paletta, Lucas (2013). Developing a digital game to support cultural learning amongst immigrants. In: First International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion, 14 May 2013, Chania, Crete.


Immigrants entering the European Community face a range of challenges in adapting to and understanding the culture of their host nation. Failure to address these challenges can lead to isolation and difficulties integrating into the society of the host country, leading to fragmented communities and a range of social issues. As part of a comprehensive suite of services for immigrants, the European-funded Mobile Assistance for Social Inclusion and Empowerment of Immigrants with Persuasive Learning Technologies and Social Network Services (MASELTOV) project seeks to provide both practical tools and learning services via mobile devices, providing a readily usable resource for immigrants. In this workshop paper, the game-based learning aspect of the MASELTOV project is introduced, with the rationale behind its design presented. In doing so, the benefits and implications of mobile platforms and emergent data capture techniques for game-based learning are discussed, as are methods for putting engaging gameplay at the forefront of the experience whilst relying on rich data capture and analysis to provide an effective learning solution. Through comparison to several other projects, a number of recommendations are put forward for games deployed in contexts similar to that of MASELTOV: a focus on establishing a significant audience with which to conduct ethical research into efficacy, the need for robust pedagogical frameworks suited to the learning context, and the evolution of methods for data capture and analysis of player activity.

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