Instructor Support in Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Games for Learning - Game Mastering in the Serious Game ’Woodment’

Viktor Wendel, Michael Gutjahr, Stefan Göbel, Ralf Steinmetz


In collaborative digital learning scenarios with small groups (3-6 users), the role of the instructor is vital as he/she is responsible for preparation of the setting, observation, coaching, moderation and adaptation. Currently, in multiplayer Serious Games, the role of the instructor is only insufficiently considered. Only very few approaches for integrating or supporting instructors in collaborative multiplayer Serious Games exist today, to the best of our knowledge. In this paper, we propose a concept for integration and support of instructors in team-based collaborative 3D multiplayer Serious Games. Our approach is based on Game Mastering principles known from roleplay games. It combines those principles with concepts for collaborative learning scenarios. We applied our concept to the existing 3D multiplayer Serious Game Woodment and tested it in a vocational school with 26 players in four groups (age: m= 19.12; sd= 2.03). Results indicate that an instructor using our Game Master framework to moderate and adapt the game at runtime can have a positive effect on both the players’ learning success and perceived user experience. Moreover, a positive effect on players’ gaming behavior can be observed.


  1. Bartle, R. (1996). Hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades: Players who suit MUDs. Journal of Virtual Environments, 1(1):19.
  2. Chiriac, E. H. and Granströ m, K. (2012). Teachers Leadership and Students Experience of Group Work. Teachers and Teaching, 18(3):345-363.
  3. Haake, J., Schwabe, G., and Wessner, M. (2004). CSCLKompendium: Lehr-und Handbuch zum computerunterstützten kooperativen Lernen. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag.
  4. Hämäläinen, R., Manninen, T., Järvelä, S., and Häkkinen, P. (2006). Learning to Collaborate: Designing Collaboration in a 3-D Game Environment. The Internet and Higher Education, 9(1):47 - 61.
  5. Hämäläinen, R. and Oksanen, K. (2012). Challenge of supporting vocational learning: Empowering collaboration in a scripted 3d game - how does teachers' realtime orchestration make a difference? Comp. and Educ., 59:281-293.
  6. Houlette, R. (2004). Player modelling for adaptive games. AI Game Programming Wisdom II, pages 557-566.
  7. Kearsley, G. (2000). Online Education: Learning and Teaching in Cyberspace, volume 91. Wadsworth Belmont, CA.
  8. Kolb, A. Y. and Kolb, D. A. (2005). The Kolb Learning Style Inventory - Version 3.1 Technical Specifications. Technical report, HayGroup, Boston, USA.
  9. Konert, J., Gö bel, S., and Steinmetz, R. (2012). Towards a Social Game Interaction Taxonomy. In Gö bel, S. and Wiemeyer, J., editors, Proceedings of the Intl. Conf. on Serious Games (GameDays) in conjunction with Intl. Conf. on E-Learning and Games (Edutainment), pages 99-110, Darmstadt, Germany. Springer.
  10. Korossy, K. (1999). Modeling knowledge as competence and performance. Knowledge spaces: Theories, empirical research, and applications, pages 103-132.
  11. Larusson, J. and Alterman, R. (2009). Wikis to Support the Collaborative Part of Collaborative Learning. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(4):371-402.
  12. Louchart, S. and Aylett, R. (2003). Solving the Narrative Paradox in VEs-Lessons from RPGs. In Rist, T., Aylett, R., Ballin, D., and Rickel, J., editors, Intelligent Virtual Agents, volume 2792 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 244-248. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.
  13. Mutwarasibo, F. (2013). Promoting University Students Collaborative Learning through Instructorguided Writing Groups. International Journal of Higher Education, 2(3):p1.
  14. Onrubia, J. and Engel, A. (2009). Strategies for Collaborative Writing and Phases of Knowledge Construction in CSCL Environments. Computers & Education, 53(4):1256 - 1265.
  15. Rodenberger, C. (2012). Conception and Implementation of Game Mastering and Team Leadership Components for a Collaborative 3D Multiplayer Serious Game. Diploma thesis, Technische Universität Darmstadt.
  16. Shell, D. F., Husman, J., Turner, J. E., Cliffel, D. M., Nath, I., and Sweany, N. (2005). The Impact of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Communities on High School Students' Knowledge Building, Strategic Learning, and Perceptions of the Classroom. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 33(3):327-349.
  17. Smith, A. M., Lewis, C., Hullet, K., and Sullivan, A. (2011). An inclusive view of player modeling. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, pages 301-303. ACM.
  18. Stahl, G., Koschmann, T., and Suthers, D. (2006). Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, chapter Computer-supported Collaborative Learning: An Historical Perspective, pages 409-426. Cambridge University Press.
  19. Tychsen, A. (2008). Tales for the Many: Process and Authorial Control in Multi-player Role-Playing Games. In ICIDS 7808: Proceedings of the 1st Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, pages 309-320, Berlin, Heidelberg. Springer-Verlag.
  20. Tychsen, A., Hitchens, M., Brolund, T., and Kavakli, M. (2005). The Game Master. In Proceedings of the Second Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, pages 215-222. Creativity & Cognition Studios Press.
  21. Wendel, V., Babarinow, M., Hörl, T., Kolmogorov, S., Gö bel, S., and Steinmetz, R. (2010). Woodment: Web-Based Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Game, volume 6250 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 68-78. Springer, 1st edition.
  22. Wendel, V., G öbel, S., and Steinmetz, R. (2012a). Game Mastering in Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Games. In E-Learning and Games for Training, Education, Health and Sports - LNCS, volume 7516, pages 23-34, Darmstadt, Germany. Springer.
  23. Wendel, V., Gutjahr, M., Gö bel, S., and Steinmetz, R. (2012b). Designing Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Games for Collaborative Learning. In Proceedings of the CSEDU 2012.
  24. Zea, N. P., Sánchez, J. L. G., Gutiérrez, F. L., Cabrera, M. J., and Paderewski, P. (2009). Design of Educational Multiplayer Videogames: A Vision From Collaborative Learning. Advances in Engineering Software, 40(12):1251-1260.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Wendel V., Gutjahr M., Göbel S. and Steinmetz R. (2014). Instructor Support in Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Games for Learning - Game Mastering in the Serious Game ’Woodment’ . In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 3: CSEDU, ISBN 978-989-758-022-2, pages 49-56. DOI: 10.5220/0004836900490056

in Bibtex Style

author={Viktor Wendel and Michael Gutjahr and Stefan Göbel and Ralf Steinmetz},
title={Instructor Support in Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Games for Learning - Game Mastering in the Serious Game ’Woodment’},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 3: CSEDU,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 3: CSEDU,
TI - Instructor Support in Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Games for Learning - Game Mastering in the Serious Game ’Woodment’
SN - 978-989-758-022-2
AU - Wendel V.
AU - Gutjahr M.
AU - Göbel S.
AU - Steinmetz R.
PY - 2014
SP - 49
EP - 56
DO - 10.5220/0004836900490056