Game Research Special Interest Group: Skills Training

Games for teaching, learning, and training of professional and 21st century skills

Motivation and Impact

Learning from practice such as role-play or with a simulated character are appropriate ways of training, but the training process is usually time-consuming and labor intensive, and thus not scalable. Learning and training games can develop complex skills in a personalized, motivating, and scalable way. This provides a solution in areas where intensive training is necesary, individual training is more effective, and personal motivation is desired.

Apart from acquiring knowledge, learning of skills if often equally important. In many contexts it is essential to adequately act using 21st century skills. Examples include learning skills such as critical thinking and collaborating, literacy skills (being proficient with information, media, or technonlogy), and life skills such as leadership and interpersonal communication (e.g. negotiation, conflict resolution). In addition, many professions require specific skills such as performing diagnoses or or risc assessment.


Successful teaching, learning, and training games require effective development of user models, virtual characters and content, and interaction between user and system, and between system components. The reserach on games for learning, teaching, and training professional and 21st century skills include, but is not limited to:

  • Effective game elements and game mechanisms.
  • Interaction and user experience, e.g. through Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality technologies.
  • Believability of virtual characters in interactions and conversations.
  • Monitoring and taking into account the affective state of the trainee.
  • Learning analytics, (cognitive and affective) user modeling, learning strategies, and personalization.
  • Software technologies for feed-back generation and content generation.

Team members

Team members

  • Johan Jeuring, Sergey Sovnosky, Matthieu Brinkhuis, Zerrin Yumak, Herre van Oostendorp, Albert Salah, Ronald Poppe, Sander Bakkes, Remco Veltkamp (Information and Computing Sciences, Faculty of Sciences)
  • Liesbeth Kester, Pieter Wouters, Bert Slof (Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • Frans Grosfeld, Harold van Rijen, Marieke van der Schaaf, Florine Frakking, Paula van Ooik (UMCU)



The following projects at the Center for Game Research are related to this special interest group.