Serious Gaming: Empowerment through Play

This research project is an opportunity for undergraduate students (as partners) to design a game experience to teach future readiness skills. Our partners, Press Start Academy, will mentor and guide a small group of students on the journey to learn the principles of game design, ideation, prototyping, and experience design.

Participants are expected to host a final play session of their games for the HKU community. Students will gain hands-on experience creating games, develop facilitation and design thinking skills, and produce a unique portfolio work to enhance your resume.

No prior skills are required. Please note the project is not a coding or computing skills workshop. As a prerequisite for participation, students must be committed to attending face-to-face sessions as follows:

  • Kick-Off Session – Friday Feb 10, 2:30 pm – 4:30pm
  • Design Stage 1: Foundations – Friday Feb 17, 2:30 pm – 4:30pm
  • Design Stage 2: Details – Friday Feb 24, 2:30 pm – 4:30pm
  • Playtest I: Gameplay – Friday Mar 3, 2:30 pm – 4:30pm
  • Design Stage III: Iterations – Friday Mar 10, 2:30 pm – 4:30pm
  • Playtest II: Facilitation – Friday Mar 24, 2:30 pm – 4:30pm

Students are required to commit to at least 35 hours of total work.*

If you have any questions, please contact the project coordinator Dr Jack Tsao ( at the Common Core. The cost of this game design program is fully subsidised by the Common Core and students must be committed to completing the programme.

Places are limited.


The deadline for application is 6 Feb 2023 (10am).

* Students are eligible to earn a certificate and apply for one (1) non-graduating academic credit through HKU Horizons (The credit is transcriptable but does not count towards your GPA). The total hours includes all time spent in workshops, meetings, self-study, assignment preparation, and final presentation.

Collaboration Partner:

Press Start Academy is an education consultancy reimagining learning through play and games. Through a unique, interdisciplinary, fun-first curriculum, Press Start Academy builds hands-on, engaging and compelling learning experiences for students aged 4 and above. Press Start takes inspiration from concepts like learning through play, gamification, inquiry-based learning, and design thinking to foster a lifelong love of learning, develop real-world and academic skills, and cultivate mastery and skills focused on the “6C” approach to 21st-century learning.

Refer to the Commitments and Conduct for research projects.