Balancing fun and learning in a serious game design

Christopher Franzwa, Ying Tang, Aaron Johnson, Talbot Bielefeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This article presents the underlying philosophy of Sustain City, an educational serious game system that engages students, particularly prospective and beginning science and engineering students, in a series of engineering design challenges. Various strategies implemented in Sustain City for achieving a balance of fun and learning are discussed, including narrative-learning synthesis, supplementing the player's actions with feedback, and the development of a sufficient guidance system. The evaluation of Sustain City deployment is also presented. The assessment confirms the values of the serious games in promoting students' interests and learning in STEM fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Game-Based Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Balancing fun and learning in a serious game design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this