Testing the Power of Game Lessons: The Effects of Art Style and Narrative Complexity on Reducing Cognitive Bias

Rosa Mikeal Martey, Adrienne Shaw, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Kate Kenski, Benjamin Clegg, James Folkestad, Tobi Saulnier, Tomek Strzalkowski


Educational games have generated attention for their potential to teach more successfully and with longer-lasting outcomes than traditional teaching methods. Questions remain, however, about which features of games enhance learning. This study investigates the effects of art style and narrative complexity on training outcomes of a game designed to help players mitigate three cognitive biases. The training was effective and was retained eight weeks later, although differences in art style and narrative complexity did not affect overall learning. The games were also compared with an alternative training technique, a professionally produced video. Immediately after exposure, the games produced better training than the video on two of the biases; eight weeks later, the games produced better training than the video on one of the biases.


educational games, serious games, art, narrative, cognitive biases

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