2012 Case Studies

Case Studies explore how serious games, simulations and virtual worlds are changing the nature of learning and work.

Explore leading edge applications of serious games with industry experts and peers! Case studies provide an in-depth study of successful serious game projects and examine:

  • the project’s goals, participants, stakeholders and resources
  • the project’s accomplishments and lessons learned
  • measures to identify evidence of changed behavior and outcomes and the project’s return on investment
  • access to the application or resources used to create the program
  • peer discussion to identify take-aways for your own projects



Atlas Gameworks
Journey, Inc.: A Professional Development Adventure Game

Keywords: serious game, negotiation, motivation, professional development

Journey, Inc. is a professional development adventure game that measures and trains competencies such as negotiation, promoting ideas and motivating others. It promotes realization and understanding of players’ professional development needs through a travel agency scenario where you interact with co-workers to practice your skills and meet the company’s goals.

This case study session will address the design and development of the game along with the results of a validation study that will collect various scientific data points from the game, demographic, psychographic, and game experience feedback.

Rajiv Roopan
CEO, Atlas Gameworks

Rajiv is an avid entrepreneur and game designer with over 10 years of experience developing unique products. He excels at product development, marketing strategy, and sales strategy. He’s delivered successful products for organizations such as NASA, the Department of Defense, DoubleClick, and Yodle.

Ayogo Games
Their Powers Combined: When ARGs and Simulations Overlap

Keywords: simulation, alternate reality game, systems training, customer service, sales

When Grainger, Inc. decided to redesign their website from the ground up, they knew that they would need to train their customer service agents (CSAs) and sales staff on the new functionality and changes in layout, so that they could continue to provide excellent customer service. They wanted staff to have experience working with the new website, as well as experience solving potential problems that customers might have. To meet these needs, a scenario-based simulation-type alternate reality game (ARG) was designed to highlight major changes to the site functionality. CSAs interacted with a coaching character and fictional customers via an online portal and email, and used the new website to solve the problems posed by the customers.

Learners were given the ability to learn outside of classroom training or Flash-based job aids for the first time. The ability to explore the website before it went live and solve actual potential customer problems gave learners a better sense of what they would need to know on a daily basis. This contributed to their feeling confident about their readiness to help customers who were using the new site. Anecdotal evidence from learner interactions with the game, as well as Grainger collected measures of readiness will be shared to illustrate the effectiveness of the simulation-based ARG.


Melissa Peterson
Ayogo Games

Melissa Peterson brings a unique perspective to immersive and experiential learning, with a background in cognition and informal education. Currently a producer with Ayogo Games, her past experience with designing and developing museum exhibits and hands-on activities at The Franklin Institute and other informal science environments has given her work a strong focus on exploratory and problem-based learning and training solutions. Having obtained an MS in Free-Choice Science Education from Oregon State University, she continues to be interested in leveraging games to make STEM learning fun for all ages to increase the number of mad scientists in the world. She takes a constructivist view of education believing that effective learning experiences allow learners to try new things, and never involve rote memorization.

Koreen Olbrish
Vice President of Learning Design
Ayogo Games

Koreen Olbrish, VP, Learning Design for Ayogo Games, believes you need to practice to perform. Applying her background in experiential learning and technology for education, Koreen advocates new ways of leveraging immersive design principles for organizational learning with emphasis on performance improvement and behavioral change. Koreen has strong ties to education, having received her MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University and helping start Freire Charter School in Philadelphia in 1999. In 2008, Koreen founded Tandem Learning to focus on organizational learning solutions, with particular expertise in simulations, serious games and the application of virtual worlds for learning. In 2011, Tandem was acquired by Ayogo Games where Koreen continues to apply immersive design principles for authentic practice.

Koreen is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and organizational consultant. She currently serves on the curriculum advisory board for Harrisburg University. Her active involvement in social media includes co-moderation of #lrnchat on Twitter, her blog Learning in Tandem, and authoring the upcoming book Immersive Learning. In her spare time, she’s raising her three adorable children.

Capella University
Riverbend City: A Case Study in Public Service Leadership Simulations

Keywords: simulation, disaster planning and response, public safety, online learning, higher ed

Capella University is an accredited online university that offers degree programs for working adults in a variety of disciplines.  In June 2009, the newly formed School of Public Service Leadership approached Capella’s Interactive Media team to discuss creating an engaging, multidisciplinary learning experience that would support the learning outcomes of their programs, which include health administration, nonprofit administration, nursing, public health and public safety. An additional challenge was that this experience needed to be delivered in an asynchronous, online learning environment. To meet these needs, we developed Riverbend City, a scenario-based simulation focused on disaster planning and response.

The central storyline of the simulation, which takes place in the fictitious location of Riverbend City, is that a train has derailed and spilled dangerous chemicals into the air, water and soil.  Learners in each course engage with the simulation through “missions,” which are self-contained collections of related scenes that focus on the specific course competencies.  Learners navigate through each mission by listening to exchanges between characters, downloading relevant documents, and completing activities such as branching scenarios or drag and drop. In the online courseroom, the missions are tied to course competencies through discussion questions and/or assessments that ask learners to engage with the missions.

Attend this case study to participate in a demonstration mission.  Additionally, attendees will be able to view some of the assets and the processes used to build the missions.  Finally, there will be a chance to explore the relationship between the technology associated with this learning tool and the content that makes it so effective.


Felicity Pearson
Course Developer
Capella University

Contact us at LEEF@HarrisburgU.edu or 717.901.5190 for more information.

LEEF was an interactive professional development event that explored the use of games, simulations and virtual worlds for learning. The program showcased how learning and entertainment technologies have converged, and continue to evolve, to produce new, immersive solutions that are redefining the learning experience.

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