Serious gaming in research integrity education

From The Embassy of Good Science

Serious gaming in research integrity education

What is this about?

Serious games are designed to be more than just entertainment, and are often used for educational purposes. In responsible conduct of research (RCR) and research integrity (RI) education, interactivity is one of the key factors for success. Through serious games, RCR and RI can be taught and help develop responsible researchers.

Why is this important?

To be a good researcher, it is not enough just to know rules and codes of conduct of RCR. It is important to learn how to adapt and respond to real life situations. In order to respond ethically, you need to develop skills to recognize the right course of action and the values that will lead you to choose them. This is why many people stress the importance of virtues and virtue ethics in RCR education.[1][2] Serious games simulate real life situations and require that players respond to them. They are similar to case based and role play education, but also significantly different. In gaming, there is no room to escape or hide behind the more extroverted members of the group. Here, the player is put into the center and has to reach a decision on his or her own.

  1. Briggle A, Holbrook JB, et al. Research Ethics Education in the STEM Disciplines: The Promises and Challenges of a Gaming Approach. Science and Engineering Ethics. 2016. 22(1): 237-250.
  2. Briggle A. The ethics of computer games: A character approach. In J. R. Sageng, T. M. Larsen, H. Fossheim (Eds.), The philosophy of computer games (pp. 159–174). London: Springer; 2012.

For whom is this important?

What are the best practices?

The field of gaming in RCR education is growing. A few examples include ‘‘Grants and Researchers’’, a card game designed to simulate the experience of ethical decision making within the context of academic research. Rules of the game are available here . Gaming Against Plagiarism (GAP) project developed three games that put the player in the central role of various issues in authorship, misconduct and intellectual property. More information on the games can be found here.