GameScapes and SimApps: New Techniques for Integrating Rich Narratives with Game Mechanics

Ashish Amresh, Arizona State University
David Clarke, Toolwire, Inc.
Doug Beckwith, Toolwire, Inc.

Dr. Amresh was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.


A GameScape is a novel mixed-method platform that combines visual storytelling with game-based learning elements to challenge the student to critically evaluate cause-and-effect scenarios. In this paper, we discuss the design and implementation details of a GameScape developed for teaching five introductory environmental science modules in an introductory environmental science course. A SimApp (simulation application) is a game-based assessment technique that students complete at the end of each module. We present the design and integration of SimApps within GameScapes. Our approach is aimed at providing a novel method of integrating rich narrative based storytelling with short repetitive game play mechanics to promote improved student learning and retention. It is specifically designed to avoid trial and error gameplay and help provide proper remediation by making the player critically evaluate the choice of the decisions.