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Role-playing Games as Cooperative Capstone Design Projects

Welch, Steven David
The purpose of this study was the design and construction of a new capstone design project for electrical engineering students based on games. Games provide context and a common interest for our students. Many characteristics of good design projects can easily be found in the structure of games. In a fundamental way games represent design. A design for a wearable gaming platform, called MAGE, was created. Several prototypes of the system were designed, built, and used by students in a capstone design course. During the course of development many lessons were learned. Students struggled with projects based on MAGE because the system was incomplete. Continuous development meant that creating and maintaining up to date documentation was nearly impossible. There is positive anecdotal feedback in the form of high project success rates, which suggest MAGE, supports the education of students. However, more research is needed to make any definitive determination.