Concepts utilizing applied ethics, such as responsible conduct of research (RCR), can prove difficult to teach due to the complexity of problems faced by researchers and the many underlying perspectives involved in such dilemmas. Academical is a choice-based interactive storytelling game created in the Twine authoring framework for RCR education that enables players to experience a story from multiple perspectives. Each playable scenario in Academical centers on a conversation between two stakeholders in the RCR issue at hand, one of whom is controlled by the player. The game shows how seemingly obvious answers around questions of research ethics can be complicated by factors such as power dynamics and marginalized identities and experiences. Studies of Academical have demonstrated that utilizing a choice-based interactive story game is more effective for RCR education, with learners developing significantly higher engagement, stronger overall moral reasoning skills, and better knowledge scores for certain RCR topics.
Peer Reviewed Conference and Journal Publications
- Exceptional Paper Award: Edward F. Melcer, Katelyn M. Grasse, James Ryan, Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Dietrich Squinkifer, Brent Hill, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. (2020). “Getting Academical: A Choice-Based Interactive Storytelling Game for Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research”. In Proceedings of the 15th international conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. FDG ’20, Malta. ACM.
- Edward F. Melcer, James Ryan, Nick Junius, Max Kreminski, Dietrich Squinkifer, Brent Hill, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. (2020). “Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research Through an Interactive Storytelling Game”. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI ’20, Hawaii, USA. ACM.