Psychology and Serious Gaming

PeriodKwartiel 3-4
Max participants32
ContactTaco van Loon | | 06 - 2249 0864
Type of minorA: Toegankelijk voor elke hbo-opleiding (see 'Target group')
Non-qualifying coursessee 'Target group'
Link Kies op MaatKies op Maat

Psychology and Serious GamingSerious Gaming is booming. A growing number of businesses and organisations are making smart use of applied games and gamification as an intervention tool to create societal, organizational or personal impact.

The minor Psychology and Serious Gaming will teach you how to create applied games with impact, It furthermore will give you insights into the psychology behind games. How and why do games seduce and engage people to start and to continue playing. During the minor you will learn this by creating multiple minigames and an actual applied game for a real client.

This minor is open to all students who have passed their first year. For the minor psychology and serious gaming no programming knowledge is required.

Application for non-Saxion students
Before registration through Kies op Maat, please contact and ask if there are any remaining open spots. Make sure your learning agreement has been delivered to Saxion before the application deadline.


You will learn how to make a serious game and which elements are required to make the game successful. Furthermore, you will learn the psychological principles underpinning these elements and how to use a game as an intervention tool. You will also learn how to apply Scrum as a project methodology for game design.

In short:

  • You will learn the various elements involved in making a serious game.
  • You will develop a game of your own.
  • You will learn about the psychological principles underpinning games and games as an intervention tool.
  • You will gain experience working with the Scrum methodology.

You will form part of a multidisciplinary team tasked with developing a serious game for a real-life client.

There are five parts:

Evidence-based game design
When developing a serious game, it is vital to know how games work, how to keep players involved and how to make a game ‘fun’. Topics to be covered include game psychology, gamer behaviour and mapping the effectiveness of serious games.

Game design & game technology
You will be provided with an insight into trends in game design, game (systems) thinking, how to apply game elements to daily life (gamification) and serious game design.

Value of the game
What is the value of a game for client and other organisations, groups and persons? You will learn to estimate the feasibility and viability of your serious game and its development.

Collaboration between discipline & scrum
We employ a modern project management tool (Scrum) and team building exercises to ensure that both the team and the end result are more than just the sum of their parts.

Client & third parties
Each period during the minor will see different clients with challenging development needs. You can propose a client of your own if you wish.

Activities consist of a mixture of group assignments, tutorials, presentations, lectures and games.

In line with the traditional structure of games, the minor consists of two levels:

Level 1: intro level
This level, which will be assessed after 10 weeks, focuses on mastering the basic knowledge you need to develop your serious game. 

Level 2: final boss
The ‘final boss’ consists of pitching your end product, playing the game and convincing the client of the added value that the game provides.

Relevant literature
Fullerton, T (2016). Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition (

Taco van Loon
06 - 2249 0864