Theoretical foundations of the Youth@Work game

E. Boyle, G. Allan, J. Moffett, T. Connolly, H. Oudi, A. Badii, S. Einarsdóttir, H. Hummel, A, Graur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The aim of the YOUTHYES project is to design, develop and evaluate a game, the Youth@Work game, which aims to support young people between the ages of 13-19 years in career planning and decision making. This paper will describe the theoretical underpinnings of the Youth@Work game and how these were used in designing and developing the game. There is a solid foundation of career learning, career choice and career management theories available, but the two theories that were used to characterize the desired learning outcomes for the game and guide the development of the game activities and game mechanics were:
(a) the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) model of career competences and
(b) Holland’s model of vocational interests.

The game includes an overarching narrative where the player’s aim is to embark on a journey through Job Fantasyland (similar to their own career journey) where they have to tackle and complete certain activities in zones along the way. The SDS model of 4 career competences based around self, strengths, horizons and networks was used to provide structure to the 4 zones of the game and to suggest suitable activities for these zones. In the self and strength zones, the game collects information about the players with respect to their responses to 5 mini-games that address players’ school subject preferences, leisure interests, career values, skills and personal attributes.

Material used in the mini-games is based on Holland’s model of vocational interests and players’ responses are used to indicate their preferred career types. In the Horizons zone players have the opportunity to play 2 mini-games that present the opportunity to explore 36 careers. Players’ responses in the first two zones guide players to appropriate careers. In the Networks zone players find out that there are people who can give them advice about careers, but this advice might be good or bad!

In the final zone, Crown Castle, the player finds out which careers he is most suited to. The mini-games in each zone will be described in detail and the paper will explain how information about career categories and career characteristics was used in designing the game.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEDULEARN16 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 4th-6th, 2016 -Barcelona, Spain
EditorsL. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres
PublisherInternational Academy of Technology, Education and Development
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9788460888604
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
EventInternational Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 4 Jul 20166 Jul 2016
Conference number: 8

Publication series

NameEDULEARN Periodical Publications
ISSN (Print)2340-1117


ConferenceInternational Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies


  • games
  • careers
  • theoretical foundations
  • competence framework
  • vocational interests


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