Teaching Students About Plagiarism Using a Serious Game (Plagi-Warfare): Design and Evaluation Study

Abejide Ade-Ibijola, Keagan Young, Nashik Sivparsad, Mpho Seforo, Suhail Ally, Adebola Olowolafe, Maria Frahm-Arp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Educational games have been proven to support the teaching of various concepts across disciplines. Plagiarism is a major problem among undergraduate and postgraduate students at universities. Objective: In this paper, we propose a game called Plagi-Warfare that attempts to teach students about plagiarism. Methods: To do this at a level that is beyond quizzes, we proposed a game storyline and mechanics that allow the player (or student) to play as a mafia member or a detective. This either demonstrated their knowledge by plagiarizing within the game as a mafia member or catching plagiarists within the game as a detective. The game plays out in a 3D environment representing the major libraries of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. In total, 30 students were selected to evaluate the game. Results: Evaluation of the game mechanics and storyline showed that the student gamers enjoyed the game and learned about plagiarism. Conclusions: In this paper, we presented a new educational game that teaches students about plagiarism by using a new crime story and an immersive 3D gaming environment representing the libraries of the University of Johannesburg.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33459
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Education
  • Educational games
  • Game mechanics
  • Library games
  • Plagiarism
  • Serious games
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Biomedical Engineering


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