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The Development of a Modular Framework for Serious Games and the Internet of Things

Henry, John (2018) The Development of a Modular Framework for Serious Games and the Internet of Things. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

The combination of Serious Games and the Internet of Things is a recent academic domain of research. By combining the software and gaming advantages of Serious Games with the interconnected hardware and middleware driven ecosystem of the Internet of Things, it is possible to develop data-driven games that source data from the local or extended physical environment to progress in the virtual environment of gaming. The following thesis presents research into Serious Games and the Internet of Things, focusing on the development of a modular framework that represents the combination of the two technologies. Current research in the domain of Smart Serious Games omits a modular framework that is application independent and outlines the software and hardware interaction between Serious Games and the Internet of Things, therefore this thesis is the first to introduce one. By developing such a framework, this thesis contributes to the academic domain and encourages new and innovative real-world applications of Smart Serious Games that include healthcare, education, simulation and others. Further to the framework, this thesis presents a survey into the network topologies for Serious Games and the Internet of Things and a computer algorithm that provides a measure of student engagement, integrated into a Smart Serious Game developed as part of the undertaken research named Student Engagement Application (SEA). This thesis utilises a semester-long experiment and the techniques of control groups and randomised controlled trials to investigate and compare the measures of engagement obtained through SEA and self-reflection questionnaires, and the measure of student engagement against academic performance, respectively. After statistical analysis, the data presented strong confidence in the measure of engagement through SEA, validating the effectiveness of the proposed framework for Smart Serious Games.

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