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SherLOCKED: A Detective-Themed Serious Game for Cyber Security Education

Jaffray, Alice, Finn, Conor, Nurse, Jason R. C. (2021) SherLOCKED: A Detective-Themed Serious Game for Cyber Security Education. In: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. Human Aspects of Information Security and Assurance. 15th IFIP WG 11.12 International Symposium, HAISA 2021, Virtual Event, July 7–9, 2021, Proceedings. 613. Springer ISBN 978-3-030-81110-5. (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-81111-2_4) (KAR id:88345)


Gamification and Serious Games are progressively being used over a host of fields, particularly to support education. Such games provide a new way to engage students with content and can complement more traditional approaches to learning. This article proposes SherLOCKED, a new serious game created in the style of a 2D top-down puzzle adventure. The game is situated in the context of an undergraduate cyber security course, and is used to consolidate students' knowledge of foundational security concepts (e.g. the CIA triad, security threats and attacks and risk management). SherLOCKED was built based on a review of existing serious games and a study of common gamification principles. It was subsequently implemented within an undergraduate course, and evaluated with 112 students. We found the game to be an effective, attractive and fun solution for allowing further engagement with content that students were introduced to during lectures. This research lends additional evidence to the use of serious games in supporting learning about cyber security.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Proceeding)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-030-81111-2_4
Uncontrolled keywords: Cyber security, Gamification, Serious Games, Education, University, Puzzle, Detective, COVID-19, Emergency Online Learning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 24 May 2021 17:30 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2022 15:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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