Chapter 1 : Introduction

This introductory chapter first describes the background to the creation of the book and discusses the rationale for a book on game-based learning aimed at practitioners in Higher Education.

The second part of the chapter presents three example entertainment games, which are freely available online, that are used to demonstrate many of the principles discussed throughout the book.


RuneScape is an online multi-user fantasy role-playing game in which the player can navigate around and interact with the environment, objects and other players in order to solve quests and progress through the game.

Notpron is a single-player puzzle game, which describes itself as ‘the hardest riddle available on the Internet’ and consists of a series of puzzles of increasing difficulty that the player has to solve to progress through different levels of the game.

Sleuth is an online detective game where the player has to solve mysteries by searching locations for clues, gathering evidence and talking to suspects in order to solve a number of cases that gradually increase in difficulty.


Familiarizing yourself with the companion web site: Explore what the companion web site has to offer.

Familiarizing yourself with the games: Spend some time playing each game, getting a feel for the interface, the type of game play that is involved and what is expected of you as a player.

Screen Shots

RuneScape (image reproduced with permission of Jagex Ltd)

NotPron (image reproduced with permission of David Münnich)

Sleuth (image reproduced with permission of Hypothetical Software)