Ethics Education


Educational game, ethics game, ethics education


The FLI Ethics Education project combines research on games for ethics education with the development of such an educational ethics game for ETH.

Game Development

Since 2019, the ETH Professorship for Learning Sciences and Higher Education has collaborated with the ETH Game Technology Center and the ETH Chair for Bioethics to develop a digital educational ethics game for doctoral students and early career researchers in STEM. The game will be integrated in the new ETH doctoral research ethics course from 2022/2023.

In the narrative role-playing game, players become part of a fictional research lab. While they get their feet wet in this new environment, they encounter a variety of complex research-ethical dilemmas surrounding authorship, honesty, originality. Simultaneously, players are navigating a plethora of pressures and demands from peers, their superiors, as well as their own health. The aim of the game is for players to experience how these pressures and demands clash with the systemic pressures of academic culture characterised by competition and ethical grey-zones, and to critically reflect on their own responsibility in fostering ethical scientific and technological progress in such an environment. The game utilises a novel approach to Game Based Learning grounded in exploration and experiences of ambiguity. It is designed as a preparatory activity with the aim to facilitate rich post-gameplay discussion and can be used across course-formats and STEM subjects. 


This project aims to develop new ways of conceptualising learning in educational ethics games to inform the design of such games in the future. In particular, the research seeks to develop and test alternatives to an understanding of in-game learning centred around consequentiality and clearly defined content.

Theory-focused and philosophical research goals:
We aim to develop a new framework for the design of meaningful digital educational games in the domain of ethics education. We understand ethical problems as so-called ‘wicked problems’ (i.e., complex problems with not clear definition or solution) and are working on building theory surrounding the pedagogy and assessment of learning in relation to ‘wicked problems’.

Empirical research goals:
We aim to test the developed educational ethics game Write or Wrong in real educational settings, using a research design combining in-game data collection methods, qualitative and quantitative methods.

– Implementation pilot (Summer 2022)
– Implementation study (2023-2025)

State of the project

The development of our educational ethics game Write of Wrong is supported by the ETH Innovedum Fund and will last until December 2022. We are currently recruiting a doctoral student to join the project team as part of the ETH Zurich – EPFL Joint Doctoral Program in the Learning Sciences to conduct the implementation studies.



Journal papers:
Nardo, A., Gaydos, M. (2021). ‘Wicked problems’ as catalysts for learning in educational ethics games. In Ethics and Education 16(4), (p. 492-509).

Gille, F., Nardo, A. (2020). A case for transformative learning in medical ethics education. In Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development 7, 2382120520931059.


Conference talks and proceedings:
Gaydos, M., Nardo, A. (under review). Towards a Theory of Dialogic Play. ICLS 2022, short paper.

Gaydos, M., Nardo, A., Write or Wrong: A Transformational Game for Ethics Education, 22-25 April 2022, AERA 2022, oral presentation.

Gaydos, M., Nardo, A., Towards a theory of transformational ethical gameplay, 17 Nov 2020, ECGBL 2020 – Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Game Based Learning. Curran Associates Inc, p. 805-807 (European Conference on Games-Based Learning).

Nardo, A., Gaydos, M., Designing an Educational Ethics Game, 2 July 2020, Ludicious Zurich Game Festival.

Dr. Aline Nardo

Dr. Henning Metzmacher

Dr. Matthew Gaydos

Prof. Dr. Manu Kapur


Dr. Felix Gille

Prof. Dr. Effy Vayena

Prof. Dr. Timothy Roscoe

Prof. Dr. Ernst Hafen

Philipp Kuhn

Eugeniya Kareva

Joanna Sleigh