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Serious games for education are becoming increasing popular. Interactive fiction games are some of the most popular in app stores and are also beginning to be heavily used in education to teach analysis and decision-making. Noting that it is difficult for systems engineers to experience all necessary situations which prepare them for the role of a chief engineer, in this paper, we explore the use of interactive fiction serious games to impart systems engineering experience and to teach systems engineering principles. The results of a cognitive viability, qualitative viability, and replayability analysis of 14 systems engineering serious games developed in the interactive fiction genre are presented. The analysis demonstrates that students with a systems engineering background are able to learn the Twine gaming engine and create a serious game aligned to the Apply level of Bloom’s Taxonomy which conveys a systems engineering experience and teaches a systems engineering principle within a four-week period of time. These quickly generated games cognitive, quality, and replayability scores indicate they provide some opportunity for high-level thinking, are of high quality, and with above average replayability, are likely to be played multiple times and/or recommended to others.


This is an Open Access article published in IJSG by the Serious Games Society and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Author marked [*] was a graduate student at the time of publication.

Funding note: This research was partially performed under United States General Services Administration contract # GS-23F-0076M, order # GS05Q17BMA0013.

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International Journal of Serious Games