The development and application of a serious game for raising awareness and understanding of noPILLS: a game-based learning approach

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The advent of serious games is perceived as a novel approach for engaging populations in the awareness of important environmental and societal issues that they may not otherwise be motivated to explore. The aim of this research project was to explore the effectiveness of serious games, particularly their impact in raising awareness of noPILLS (Adamczak, 2015). noPILLS was a pan-European research project aimed at investigating potential interventions that could potentially reduce micropollution in wastewater treatment facilities across Europe (Adamczak, 2015). A suggested outcome to the research questioned the efficacy of video game technologies as an intervention method in demonstrating public awareness of micropollution. This research adopted the enquiry and approached public awareness through digital game-based learning. Specifically, the research provided a case study of the design, development, and deployment of a serious game intended to inform schoolchildren within a classroom environment to learn about the environmental and social impact of micropollution. The research featured three main outcomes. Firstly, a development framework, the Game and Experiment Model, was proposed that aligned game design principles and research outcomes to inform the game development process. Secondly, a serious game, Project:Filter, was produced in order to investigate the efficacy of a digital game-based learning approach in achieving public awareness as proposed by the research outcomes of noPILLS. Finally, a phenomenological approach was adopted for analysing the play and learning experience of schoolchildren. The research can be suggested as a successful case study from the perspective of situated learning and public awareness through the development and application of a serious game. This research intends to provide a real-world case study on the application of serious games for tackling social issues through means of situated learning, public awareness and engagement, and experimental game design.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Teedon, Paul, Supervisor, External person
  • Ramzan, Romana, Supervisor, External person
  • Pahl, Ole, Supervisor, External person
Award date20 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Serious games
  • Applied games
  • Game design
  • Games for change
  • Game-based learning
  • Environmental health
  • Built environment


Dive into the research topics of 'The development and application of a serious game for raising awareness and understanding of noPILLS: a game-based learning approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this