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Fun and learning: The power of narrative


This paper describes the results of a comparative study carried out in a Singapore High School to test four versions of our game for learning, to investigate the effectiveness of puzzle and narrative-based games in engaging students, how the games affect their learning experience and their understanding of the physics concepts of displacement and velocity. It outlines the development of four game versions and in particular, describes the introduction of an off-screen character to help reach a synergy of fun and learning through an optimal blend of design and development dimensions (e.g. constructionist and instructionist learning, hidden/incidental and direct/explicit learning). The off-screen character achieves this through narration of an extended narrative/story intertwoven with aspects of the learning topics -- displacement and velocity. In this way the character's purpose is twofold; firstly, as part of the storyline and secondly, as learning partner or assistant.

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