Debriefing Research Games: Context, Substance and Method

Jop van den Hoogen, Julia Lo, Sebastiaan Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
172 Downloads (Pure)


Background. Debriefing is an intrinsic part of games for learning and proper
debriefing can also be beneficial to research games. However, the literature
on how to debrief research games is sparse and only provides the professional
with an abstract topic guide.
Aim. The purpose of this study was to design a framework for the debriefing of
research games that are used in ongoing innovation processes.
Method. We used the literature on debriefing and experimental research and our
experience as game designers to build a framework that tackles the context,
substance and method of debriefing research games.
Results. Our framework provides three contributions. First, it shows how
the context in which a research game is applied sometimes impacts the
functionality of the game in negative ways. This can be helped by designing both
the game and the debriefing together. Second, we operationalize validity to a
greater extent, as this is the core of a good research game. Third, we provide
a methodology for debriefing professionals that opens up the black box of the
gaming simulation session.
Conclusion. The debriefing framework provides a method to collectively assess
the validity, reliability and robustness of the causal claims associated with the
research conducted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalSimulation & Gaming: an international journal of theory, design and research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 45th Conference of the International Simulation and Gaming association (ISAGA) - Bielefeld, Dornbirn, Austria
Duration: 7 Jul 20147 Jul 2014


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