Universiteit Leiden

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Fostering Curiosity Through Video Games

This thesis manuscript explores the use of video games as tools for conceptual exploration and academic research.

Gómez Maureira, M.A.
26 februari 2023
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The research question of how video games facilitate exploration is investigated through nine chapters, including empirical studies such as user surveys, video game design artifacts, and user studies. Chapter 2 introduces relevant terminology and related work. Chapter 3 describes the creation of CURIO, a video game developed for classroom use that requires players to ask critical and original questions about topics a teacher defines, revealing the need to highlight information gaps to stimulate curiosity for conceptual exploration. Chapter 4 investigates what types of video games elicit curiosity for exploration through a survey, while Chapter 5 formulates a hypothesis on design patterns for exploration based on the survey results. Chapters 6 and 7 focus on implementing and validating design patterns for exploration and how they influence player behavior and experience. Chapter 8 reflects on the use of video games in research efforts. The final chapter summarizes insights and contributions, and provides directions for future research. Overall, the manuscript presents evidence that video games can effectively facilitate exploration and can be used as tools for academic research.

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