Exploratory learning is learning through exploration and emphasises student-directed inquiry with or without guidance from the teacher or tutor. Game-based exploratory learning situates exploration and inquiry within the context of a game or a game-based learning intervention. Game-based exploratory learning focuses on helping the students to explore concepts and artefacts as well as on how to pay attention to detail and how to compare and critically analyse concepts and ideas. Exploration in games is also considered as a progression towards expertise through exploring simple concepts and ultimately reaching to explore and learn more ill-defined and complex concepts. Game-based exploratory learning tiggers the development of meta-abilities of expertise helping the student to develop mental schemata closely resembling those of a scientist or an expert in a particular field reinforced by guidance and context-based support.
Benefits of game-based exploratory learning include increased motivational levels for learners; access to content and resources with a more investigative and inquiry-based prism; opportunities for increased attention, observation and memorisation of concepts, content and process. 3D and 2D exploratory interfaces may provide support for comprehension, assimilation and consolidation of learning.Embedding exploration in games may also help students to familiarise with research methodologies and ways of conducting scientific inquiry.