Heuristica: Designing a serious game for improving decision making

Gwen Mullinix, Oliver Gray, Juan Colado, Elizabeth Veinott, James Leonard, Elizabeth Lerner Papautsky, Chris Argenta, Marcia Clover, Steven Sickles, Edward Castronova, Peter M. Todd, Travis Ross, Jared Lorince, Jared Hoteling, Sharon Mayell, Chris Hale, Elizabeth Whitaker, Robert R. Hoffman, Olivia Fox, John Flach

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


This paper describes the design process and development of a 3D immersive serious game, Heuristica. The objective of this video game is to train players to improve their decision making by mitigating cognitive biases in an engaging and effective way. Heuristica is the result of three development and empirical evaluation cycles over 18 months. Several game features have been tested, and only those that improved learning while maintaining engagement have been retained in the latest version of the video game. These include reward, real time feedback, and game customization. Our development and playtesting process is summarized, and the implications for designing training are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, IGIC 2013
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479912445
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event 5th Annual IEEE International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC 2013 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Sep 23 2013Sep 25 2013

Publication series

NameIEEE Consumer Electronics Society's International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC
ISSN (Print)2166-6741
ISSN (Electronic)2166-675X


Conference 5th Annual IEEE International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC 2013
CityVancouver, BC


  • bias
  • cognition
  • decision making
  • experiment
  • serious games
  • simulation
  • training
  • video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software


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