Improving serious games by crowdsourcing feedback from the STEAM online gaming community

Christian Moro*, Charlotte Phelps, James R. Birt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The inclusion of game-based learning in tertiary institutions is increasing as educators seek ways to enhance student engagement and motivation. During the development process for gaming resources, educators need feedback to ensure a quality learning experience. In many cases this feedback is generally received from students at the end of the subject or course and is often regulated centrally. Another way of garnering feedback and capturing player analytics could be to capitalize on the millions of global gamers. A game developed for use in a Health Sciences and Medicine program, The King's Request: Physiology and Anatomy Revision Game, was made freely available on the Steam platform. Over 16,000 Steam users engaged with the game over 12 months, with 150 providing written reviews. In contrast, a cohort of 100 first-year health science and medical students were requested to review the game after playing in class, with only 17 providing written feedback. In reviewing feedback, similarities were found between the groups, such as where both Steam community players and in-class students requested more questions and a longer game. However, the Steam community highlighted several unique aspects which could be used to improve the game for learning, such as a refined implementation of the incentive system. As the online gaming community is far larger than students enrolled in any tertiary subject, its expansive feedback can be used to accelerate the design and refinement of serious games. This wealth of feedback could provide unique insights for educators wishing to improve the provision of games in education and the overall student learning experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100874
Number of pages9
JournalInternet and Higher Education
Early online date9 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


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