Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Digital Production Arts

Advisor

House, Donald H

Committee Member

Malloy , Brian A

Committee Member

Holmevik , Jan

Abstract

Video games have a history of being exploited for education. However, all too fre- quently, the resulting educational video game is either transparent in its hijacking of video game media, or the educational content is not intelligently placed within the context of the game. In this paper we analyze existing educational video games and observe popular commercial video game mechanics to form a more player oriented development mindset. Our approach involves mingling game mechanics that are not commonly used together to create a genre hybrid educational video game with a seamlessly integrated introductory programming curriculum. We use a machine architecture visualization tool to allow the player to write and execute simple pro- grams. This leads to a deeper understanding of foundational concepts by exposing the effects of the code on the underlying hardware. The result of our research is a playable, cross-platform educational game that aims to teach foundational pro- gramming skills. Methods discussed in this paper can be used by educational game developers to create more engaging educational experiences.

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