Over the past 15 years, the Trideum User Experience Group has applied game design patterns to over 50 serious applications, ranging from artillery, radios, C4ISR, intel, and cyber; to civil applications such as healthcare applications and the census. As we design and develop additional X-HACKER levels, we will conduct user research and game usability studies in local schools, using the collected data to make rapid, iterative improvements to the X-HACKER game.
The game will progressively teach cyber concepts, starting with cyber awareness in early game levels, cyber forensic skills, and principles of ethical hacking at intermediate levels, and basic cyber operations at the advanced levels. Advanced students will be invited to become game-level editors, helping to develop additional game levels and building a robust X-HACKER gaming community. We will use the game’s content, companion website, and community hub to promote level-editing competitions, DoD-sponsored educational pathways, DoD cyber internships, and DoD cyber career opportunities.