Linking gameplay metrics to computational thinking

Nikolay Panayotov, Iain Donald, Ruth Falconer, Vera Kempe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

105 Downloads (Pure)


Computational thinking (CT) is considered to be a fundamental skill underlying not only programming ability, but also an entire array of computational problem-solving competencies in a data-driven world. The need for accessible and engaging educational tools for CT has recently been acknowledged as significant by educational authorities. Glitchspace is a firstperson puzzle game where the player has to manipulate objects in the game world through a visual programming interface in order to escape the cybermaze and win. The game received critical acclaim for its innovative and engaging gameplay, including a British Academy Scotland Award (BAFTA). However, the educational potential of Glitchspace in relation to CT ability has not been sufficiently explored. As success at playing the game relies on the players’ ability to program the game world to suit their goals, it is hypothesised that common measurements of CT will positively correlate with game ability (measured by game metrics, such as completion times and number of failed attempts of various sub-tasks). We propose to develop methodologies to explore the relationship between gameplay behaviour and computational problem-solving ability in the game Glitchspace. Such methodologies will allow researchers to investigate which game mechanics elicit and promote CT in a reliable and measurable way. The outcome of this research will be of great value to instructional designers seeking to leverage games for CT education, as well as learning game analysts seeking to map gameplay behaviour to learning outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference of Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd. (ACPI)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764709
ISBN (Print)9781912764716
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2020
Event14th European Conference on Games Based Learning - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Sept 202025 Sept 2020
Conference number: 14th

Publication series

NameEuropean Conference on Games Based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992
ISSN (Electronic)2049-100X


Conference14th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Game analytics
  • Computational thinking
  • Computer science education
  • Game-based learning
  • Programming ability
  • Game metrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Linking gameplay metrics to computational thinking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this