Achievement Emotions and Peer Acceptance Get Together in Game Design at School

  • Margherita Brondino
  • Gabriella Dodero
  • Rosella Gennari
    Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano gennari[at]
  • Alessandra Melonio
  • Daniela Raccanello
  • Santina Torello


This paper presents a game design experience in primary schools, with children creating game design ideas and prototypes. Children were organized in cooperative groups. Game design tasks were organized following gamification principles, with ad-hoc gamified material. Cooperative learning and gamification served to elicit emotions and social inclusion. This paper measures them as follows. It operationalizes social inclusion with peer acceptance in three different social contexts, measured before and after the game design activity. It tracks achievement emotions experienced during game design at school. Then the paper examines the relationships between achievement emotions and peer acceptance. In this manner, it tackles an open problem in the literature concerning the links between emotions and social well-being in a game design experience. Path analyses indicate that, respectively for received choices and mutual friendships, positive emotions played a significant role in improving children’s social relations, and negative emotions were associated with a significant deterioration of social relations, but only for the extra-school leisure context. The paper concludes assessing the study limits and results in relation to game design with and for children.
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Brondino, M., Dodero, G., Gennari, R., Melonio, A., Raccanello, D., & Torello, S. (2014). Achievement Emotions and Peer Acceptance Get Together in Game Design at School. ADCAIJ: Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal, 3(4), 1–12.

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Author Biography

Rosella Gennari

Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Dr. Rosella Gennari is a researcher at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Faculty of Computer Science  After her degree in Mathematics, she obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2002. Gennari was appointed post-doc ERCIM fellow at CWI, Amsterdam, in 2002, and 3-year post-doc fellow at FBK-irst, Trento, in 2003. She co-authored a textbook about logic, and more than 70 international peer-reviewed publications. Her initial research work is in knowledge representation and reasoning (KR), specifically, constraint-based reasoning. Since 2006, she has been applying KR for designing technology enhanced learning (TEL) solutions, e.g., for semi-automatically generating serious games from texts. Her work gradually shifted towards the mix of KR theories and user experience methods for (co-)designing and evaluating novel learning contexts, e.g., gamified learning contexts, or products, e.g., serious games. She was the coordinator of several projects in the area of TEL, e.g., she was the coordinator the national DARE project for designing games with and for children, and she was the scientific and technological coordinator for the TERENCE CSA FP7 EU project. Gennari has served in many international program committees of conferences related to her research work (e.g., CP, ECAI, FDG, UMAP), has been guest editor for journals (e.g., I&DxA, IJTEL) and has worked as co-chair of a series of dedicated workshops on technology enhanced learning and human centred computing (ebTEL 2012, ebTEL 2013, ebuTEL 2014) as well as of their two off-spring conferences (MIS4TEL 2014, MIS4TEL 2015).