Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




Publication Title

Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications




Serious games are, at their core, exploratory learning environments designed around the pedagogy and constraints associated with specific knowledge domains. This focus on instructional content is what separates games designed for entertainment from games designed to educate. As instructional designers and educators, the authors want serious game play to provide learners with a deep understanding of the domain, allowing them to use their knowledge in practice to think through multifaceted problems quickly and efficiently. Attention to the design of serious game affordances is essential to facilitating the development of domain knowledge during game play. As such, the authors contend that serious game designers should take advantage of existing prescriptions found in research on knowledge development in exploratory learning environments and tests of adaptive instructional designs in these environments. It is with this intention that the authors use evidence from research in cognitive processes and simulation design to propose design heuristics for serious game affordances to optimize knowledge development in games.


© 2011 IGI Global.


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This work was previously published in Gaming and Cognition: Theories and Practice from the Learning Sciences, edited by Richard Van Eck, pp. 152-168, copyright 2010 by Information Science Reference (also copyright and imprint of IGI Global)

Original Publication Citation

Adcock, A. B., Watson, G. S., Morrison, G. R., & Belfore, L. A. (2011). Effective knowledge development in game-based learning environments: Considering research in cognitive processes and simulation design. In Information Resources Management Association (Ed.), Gaming and Simulations: Concepts: Methodologies, Tools and Applications (pp. 409-425). IGI Global.