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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Cognitive Load and Empathy in Serious Games: A Conceptual Framework

Cognitive Load and Empathy in Serious Games: A Conceptual Framework
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Author(s): Wen-Hao David Huang (University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, USA) and Sharon Y. Tettegah (University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 14
Source title: Gamification: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8200-9.ch019


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The design of serious games does not always address players' empathy in relation to their cognitive capacity within a demanding game environment. Consequently players with inherent limitations, such as limited working memory, might feel emotionally drained when the level of empathy required by a game hinders their ability to cognitively attain the desired learning outcome. Because of the increasing attention being given to serious games that aim to develop players' empathy along with their cognitive competencies, such as Darfur is Dying (Ruiz et al., 2006), there is a need to investigate the empirical relationship between players' cognitive load and empathy development capacity during serious game play. Therefore this chapter examines cognitive load theory and empirical work on empathy development to propose a conceptual framework to inform the research and design of serious games that have empathy as part of the learning outcomes. Future research should focus on implementation and empirical validation of the proposed framework.

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