Human-Computer Interaction

AtomQuest: Developing Serious Games for Chemistry Teaching



Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

In order to convey this knowledge to students and learners, different chemistry teaching and learning methodologies have been developed throughout the years (e.g understanding how students learn chemistry and determining the most efficient methods to teach chemistry). Moreover, there are multiple instructional design frameworks such as Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy that help teachers and instructors alike to define the learning objectives and design the instructions.

Using the power and versatility of games, we want to associate each game element to its corresponding learning element. This mapping would give us the ability to design and develop a serious game for chemistry teaching where the game elements encode the necessary knowledge we want to convey. To test the effectiveness of this approach, we need to define the scope of our serious game, design and develop several prototypes, organize playtest sessions and finally test the knowledge retention on players.

The story could be: AtomQuest is the journey of an atom in the search of its destiny. In this journey, the atom meets Friends and Enemies, makes Alliances and participates in Battles. The atom faces multiple challenges and can lose its crown (electrons) to transform to an ion ! The atom has brothers and sisters called isotopes, each one of them serves a purpose.

So, this thesis project aims at creating fun experiences but makes sure all the learning objectives are met. It will be based on our current serious game research in the Games Engineering Group.


Literature research






Contact Persons at the University Würzburg

Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen
Games Engineering, Universität Würzburg

Mounsif Chetitah, M.Sc (Primary Contact Person)
Games Engineering, Universität Würzburg

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