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About GATE

GATE final publication 2012
Results from the GATE research project
a 75 page overview (pfd 4.7 Mb)

GATE Magazine 2010
a 36-page overview of the GATE project (pdf 5.3 Mb

Research themes:
Theme 1: Modeling the virtual World
Theme 2: Virtual characters
Theme 3: Interacting with the world
Theme 4: Learning with simulated worlds

Pilot Education Story Box
Pilot Education Carkit
Pilot Safety Crisis management
Pilot Healthcare Scottie
Pilot Healthcare Wiihabilitainment

Knowledge Transfer Projects:
Sound Design 
Motion Controller
Mobile Learning
Glengarry Glen Ross
Enriching Geo-Specific Terrain
Pedestrian and Vehicle Traffic Interactions
Semantic Building Blocks for Declarative Virtual World Creation 
Computer Animation for Social Signals and Interactive Behaviors


Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation
Department of Information and Computing Sciences
Utrecht University
P.O. Box 80089
3508 TB Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel +31 30 2537088


 ICTRegie is a compact, independent organisation consisting of a Supervisory Board, an Advisory Council, a director and a bureau. The Minister of Economic Affairs, and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science bear the political responsibility for ICTRegie. The organisation is supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and SenterNovem.

GATE Research Theme 4. Learning with Simulated Worlds

An important reason for building simulated worlds is to learn, particularly in situations where learning is dangerous or where teaching is prohibitively expensive. Learning to fly is both very expensive and life-threatening, which is why simulators for flying are well-developed. Learning to fight a fire, handle a natural disaster, combat terrorism or wage war is not only expensive and life-threatening, but also very complex. Learning within a realistic gaming environment, even for complex tasks and for distributed teams, is now coming within the realm of possibilities. 
     From a training point of view, simulated training scenarios have to be presented such that the trainee obtains the desired training objectives. Training scenarios represent the context, or the “story”, in which the trainee participates, including goals for the trainee (terminate fire), events (collapsing building), environmental conditions (smoke, traffic, noise), and behavior of other participants (computer-generated agents such as: victims, other workers, teammates, managers, audience, etc.). Adequate training scenarios emerge from the training goals and needs of individual trainees. Training according to this view is conceptualized as scenario-based-training and requires, for example, the analysis of mission-essential competencies, adaptive and flexible training scenario management, instruction by virtual instructors, and adequate performance evaluation. 
Gaming is often experienced as fun, and thus may be a vehicle to self-driven and highly motivated learning. Learning through game-play will combine formal and informal learning opportunities independent of time and place.  Learning through game-play is two-sided: We can learn from playing the game, but the development of games in a certain domain will in itself be a learning experience, in which insight will be gained into the concepts and underlying relationships in that domain.
     The GATE theme “Learning with Simulated Worlds” has been divided into four work packages:

WP 4.1 Adapting the game to the world

The current generation of game software usually contains fixed scenarios or simple rules to determine the course of the game. ... more

WP 4.2 Design rules for learning through simulated worlds

The aim of this interdisciplinary (conceptual, media-theoretical, and qualitative-empirical) research program is to investigate to what extent and in what way game design can be called upon to improve the learning results of entertainment and serious games. ... more

WP 4.3 Cognition-based learning principles

This work package will empirically validate a number of cognitive principles that are important for learning in a (serious) gaming environment. ... more

WP 4.4 Transfer of Gaming

The present research project concerns transfer of training of serious games, i.e., games that educate, train and inform. ... more