Replay penalties in cognitive games

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

1 Scopus citations


Replay penalties that punish players by making them repeat progress are ubiquitous in video games yet noticeably absent from tutors, creating a dilemma for designers seeking to combine games and tutors to maximize interest and learning. On the one hand, replay penalties can be frustrating and waste instructional time, on the other, they may increase excitement and prevent gaming the system. This study tested the effects of replay penalties on learning and interest. In a randomized, controlled experiment with a two-group, between subjects design, 100 University students played two versions of Policy World, an educational game for teaching policy argument, with and without penalties that forced students to replay parts of the game. Results showed that replay penalties decreased learning and interest. These findings suggest a minimize penalties principle for designing cognitive games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligent Tutoring Systems - 12th International Conference, ITS 2014, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319072203
StatePublished - 2014
Event12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS 2014 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2014Jun 9 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8474 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI


  • educational games
  • intelligent tutoring
  • penalties
  • serious games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Theoretical Computer Science


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