Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




For my honors thesis, I have attempted to explore the potential of video games as educational and storytelling tools. The central questions I formulated before beginning this project are twofold:

1. How can video games be used as tools to educate players?

2. How can video games be used to tell stories, and how are they unique from other storytelling methods?

In pursuit of the answer to the first question, I conducted a literature review of articles that explored the educational and cultural potential of various video games. The articles that I surveyed were diverse, ranging from studies of elementary school classrooms that used "exerlearning" (exercise learning) games to a survey of players of a MMORPG games that had a built-in "religion." Conducting this review helped to expand my understanding of how video games are being used and how they potentially can be used as educational tools. I found that, in many different settings around the world, researchers are studying how video games can increase student engagement, enhance empathy, and offer new shades of education to the student experience in several more factors.

To answer my second question, I wanted to be a little more hands-on. I wanted to attempt to "tell a story'' using a video game as the delivery method. I wrote and built a choose-your-own adventure game myself. In each step of the process, I sought to integrate skills that I have learned and developed throughout my college career, including story writing, document design, and usability and game testing.



Faculty Mentor

Ryan Moeller

Departmental Honors Advisor

Benjamin Gunsberg

Capstone Committee Member

Keri Holt