The EDDi Serious Game is a computer-based single-player game created to enable the implementation of an interactive and immersive simulation exercise in a classroom setting (and beyond). Going beyond entertainment, Serious Games combine learning strategies and game elements to teach specific skills, knowledge and attitudes and can be applied in various areas such as education, healthcare, marketing and other fields. The EDDi Serious Game is designed to solve problems of epidemiological investigation and involves challenges and rewards along an outbreak simulation scenario, using various entertainment and engagement components provided when the user is playing games.
Building on a problem-based self-study approach, EDDi participants will be introduced to the principles and practices of infectious disease epidemiology as well as concepts related to the investigation of disease outbreaks, with particular focus on:
Describing infectious disease events and evaluating local outbreak scenarios
Learning about basic methods of epidemiological outbreak investigation, study designs, and tools of epidemiology (e.g., epidemiological curves, outbreak maps, technical terms)
Interpreting and recognizing associations between outbreak events and relevant influencing factors by applying basic techniques of infectious disease epidemiology (especially descriptive methods)
Making informed decisions in outbreak investigation based on epidemiological evidence
Extra: Getting to know the structure of the German disease surveillance and reporting system as well as background information on the Hanseatic city of Hamburg
Concept and Materials
The Serious Game and all supplementary materials can be downloaded free of charge and under an open licence (also for commercial use) from the multi-disciplinary open repository ZENODO:
As the Serious Game requires a basic understanding of infectious disease epidemiology concepts and terminology, refreshing some background knowledge through the EDDi Welcome Tutorial is recommended, either individually or in small groups. The tutorial can be given to students as preparatory homework. In addition, students may be advised to familiarize themselves with the Epidemiology Cheat Sheetand bring a copy.
EDDi Welcome Tutorial: Interactive Powerpoint Presentation (.pptx) ↗ Using an interactive Power Point presentation, the tutorial offers an insight into the basics of epidemiology as well as the gameplay of theEDDi Serious Game. Start the presentation on your computer and follow the instructions by clicking on the integrated buttons and materials. There is a total of six educational videos to prepare for the different tasks of the exercise, accessed via embedded links to video-based learning materials on epidemiology. Clicking on the element will redirect you to the third-party provider (YouTube).
Ensure that students are able to access the EDDi Serious Game(Windows / Web Player) and that devices fulfill the game's system requirements (see below). A calculator is needed for some of the tasks. In preparation for the final follow-up discussion, each student should have a printout of the EDDi Reporting Sheet. Headphones can be recommended to students, though game sounds are not essential for completing the assignment. Beware: The game contains text and visuals only and does not feature any voice over.
System Requirements: The EDDi Serious Game is available for Windows (.exe, all files from the zip folder are required for the game to run!) and via web browser (Unity WebGL Player). Please note that no macOS build is available for Apple devices but you can access the game via the web player. EDDi is optimized for widescreen (16:9) and standard resolution 1920x1080 pixels.
At the end of the Serious Game exercise (at home or in the classroom), students are to fill out the EDDi Reporting Sheet. The filled report shall serve as a basis for a final group discussion in class. The exercise should therefore close with a face-to-face outbreak wrap-up and exchange of findings and experiences, moderated by a facilitator (e.g., lecturer) via the EDDi Reporting Sheet-Facilitator's Version (approx. 30 minutes).
#1 Make sure you have completed all preparations and all printouts are available.
#2 Before applying the EDDi Serious Game (Windows / Web Player) exercise, explain the overall outline of the exercise (learning objectives, resources needed, estimated time to complete the game) and the game's system requirements to the students.
#3 The Serious Game can either be used in class or given to students as a take-home assignment. In either case, ensure that students have access to the game.Since it is a Single Player Game, students may tackle the outbreak alone or in a small group together with their peers. The game itself will guide them through its storyline, tasks, and reference materials. Beware: There’s currently no option to save any game progress. If the player quits EDDi, it crashes, or their device accidentally loses power, they will be reset to the start of the mission. If students play EDDi in a small group, remind them to take enough time to carefully discuss and evaluate their findings and clues in the group.
#4 Throughout the game, students will encounter frequent pointers on how they're performing. If the Serious Game is used in face-to-face classroom teaching, you may also assist with questions. Make sure to keep an eye on the time!
#5 At the end of the Serious Game exercise (at home or in the classroom), students are to fill out the EDDi Reporting Sheet. The report shall serve as a basis for final joint discussion in the cohort. The exercise should therefore close with a face-to-face outbreak wrap-up and exchange of findings and experiences, moderated by the facilitator via the EDDi Reporting Sheet-Facilitator's Version (approx. 30 minutes). Students can also evaluate their final game statistics themselves using the Facilitator's Version. To learn more about the real outbreak event, further reading materials can be found in theEDDi Read.Me and shared with the class.
Serious Game approx. 2.5-3 hours (estimate) Completion of Outbreak Summary Report approx. 20 minutes (estimate) Joint Discussion for Follow-Up approx. 30 minutes (estimate)
Being a third-party-funded project, EDDi was completed in September 2023. There is no continuing technical support. If you would like to revise, rewrite, or build a new narrative upon this case study, editable materials and further information on EDDi are available on the HOOU website under an open license.
References, background information on the story and game development, along with credits, can be found in the EDDi Read.Me (.txt) ↗ .
International Teaching and Capacity Building (iTCB)