GamEffect – Gaming for Effect in Competence Developing Games

Preconference workshop to 6th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’20)

Contents and Target Audience:

The preconference workshop "Gaming for Effect" is aimed at professionals and academics who employ game-based and simulation-based learning methods.

We want to collect and discuss new and innovative ways to design Competence Developing Games (CDGs) that reliably achieve teaching goals. Participants will get to know different approaches to target-oriented game design for CDGs. By the end of the workshop, participants will have collected and integrated different perspectives on target-oriented game design to improve their own practice or inform their research.

If you are a professional user who applies games in training and education the workshop is an opportunity to show your craft, get feedback and insights into the cutting edge of research. If you are a researcher on learning or game theory, you can test your ideas, bootstrap them in the community, and gain insights on the works of others.



As designers of simulations/serious games, we often trust our instincts and experience to create formats that change the participants to:

  • Convey knowledge
  • Built teams
  • Create competencies
  • Raise awareness and confidence
  • Etc.

The design of our games often aims for specific learning moments, we just know have the desired eye-opening effect. There are numerous checklists and frameworks for game design that are not widely used. Not using a framework allows designers to be creative and empathetic when creating learning moments but fails to provide any orientation. Additionally, it impedes our ability to compare goals and actual outcomes of games.

We want to gather a diverse group to present and discuss their thoughts and methods on game design. The workshop will start with an introduction to our attempt to create a theory-based way to differentiate goals and mechanics and design games. With this approach as well as the workshop we are aiming to advance theory application in game design. This is not meant to uncover universal guiding principles, but to raise a framework that helps us identify and isolate areas that need further thinking about.



Klemens Köhler, Prof. Dr. Martin R. Wolf (University of Applied Science Aachen)


Schedule (draft):

Block 1 (ca. 90 Minutes):

  • Theory input on Competence Developing Games and integrating teaching goals
  • Presentation and marketplace of game prototypes (by participants
  • Summary and Analysis


Block 2 (ca. 120 Minutes):

  • Reflection
  • Short talks on Game Design and Analysis (by participants)
  • Drafting of integrated summary


Participation, Contribution, and Call for Prototypes/Papers:

Participants can contribute games and/or short-papers on game design and should be prepared to present them at the workshop. As we try to connect theory and practice, contributions by professionals on experiences in practice, and those of researchers on theoretical insights are equally valuable and welcome.

All contributions will be published after the conference. In case of too many high quality submissions, only the best-fitting contributions will be selected for presentation. Additional submissions will be accepted as posters and the short-papers will be published after the conference. Please read the call for participation for further information.


Registration & Fees:

The workshop will be held prior to the 6th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’20). The sessions will take place in the Faculty of Business Administration and Management  of the Universitat Politècnica de València.  It is possible to register for the workshop only. In addition to your registration on the conference homepage, please send a one pager with the following information to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!:

  • Name of the workshop as subject line
  • You name and contact data
  • Your planned contributions to the workshop
  • Questions you want addressed during the workshop
  • A one page description of your own process of game design OR
  • A one page description of the problems you wish to solve using Competence Developing Games.


Conference registration opens in March 2020 and should be done directly through the conference website.