Design guidelines for Classroom Multiplayer Presential Games (CMPG)

M. Villalta, I. Gajardo, M. Nussbaum, J. J. Andreu, A. Echeverría, J. L. Plass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a Classroom Multiplayer Presential Game (CMPG) peers interact collaboratively with the virtual world and amongst themselves in a shared space. The design of this kind of game, however, is a complex process that must consider instruction strategies, methodology, usability and ludic aspects. This article's aim is to develop and systematize guidelines for the design of CMPGs. To develop these guidelines we used a three-step process: evaluating an initial implementation of a CMPG and finding its problems; defining guidelines that can help overcome these problems; and redesigning the game based on the guidelines before testing it in a real class scenario to assess how helpful the guidelines were in solving the initial problems. From the initial evaluation of the game, we developed a series of guidelines to overcome the existing problems that can be classified into six categories: On-screen information, Game mechanics, Game progression, Methodology, Collaboration, and Holism. After redesigning the game with these guidelines we performed a field study to see the behavior of the new CMPG, where we measured how well the guidelines were applied in the game-play and the effectiveness in regard to the learning level reached by the students. Our results indicate that the guidelines are a valuable tool in the design of CMPGs that foster learning, which was shown both in the results of the observations and in the significant increase in learning. Although the design guidelines can be seen as general principles, we conclude that they have to be considered differently for different games, and that even during a specific game the importance of each guideline may vary throughout the different quests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2039-2053
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Classroom Multiplayer Presential Game
  • Collaborative game
  • Educational game
  • Game design guidelines
  • Learning in the classroom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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