Serious games in future skills development: A systematic review of the design approaches

Gurbuz S. C., Çelik M.

COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION, vol.30, no.5, pp.1591-1612, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/cae.22557
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, EBSCO Education Source, INSPEC, Metadex, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1591-1612
  • Keywords: 21th century learning ecosystem, educational game design, future skills, literature review, serious game design, EDUCATIONAL GAME, TALENT DEVELOPMENT, EMPIRICAL-EVIDENCE, COMPUTER GAMES, BUSINESS EDUCATION, SCIENCE-EDUCATION, FRAMEWORK, MODEL, MOTIVATION, OUTCOMES
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Serious games offer a magnificent potential for developing future skills along with the 21st-century learning ecosystem. A close nexus between the design and effectiveness of serious games is still argued. In this regard, the current study provides a systematic literature review on serious game design approaches with a special focus on future skill development. A systematic review protocol, including planning, conducting, and reporting stages, is followed to comprehensively interpret the existing studies. Applying quality controls, 32 serious game studies which include a practical serious game design approach are selected. For providing a more systematic analysis, these approaches are then categorized based on the intended outcome of the serious game that the approach aims to facilitate. It is found that 8 (25%) of these design approaches support at least one future skills, among which problem-solving as well as collaboration and teamwork are the most commonly supported ones. It is also discovered that clear goals and interactivity, used in 6 (75%) and 5 (63%) of the 8 design approaches respectively, are the most commonly implemented game design elements. Considering the significant literature gap on the implementation of serious games for future skills development, this study consequently provides valuable insights for the game designers, software developers, educational technology researchers, and engineering educators in various domains.