What video game genres are teaching us

Gose, Edward Galutira
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Video games are more than just a hobby for many people. Some studies suggest that learning can occur during video game play. However, few studies exist that actually evaluate potential learning in popular video games. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify video game genres, understand what might be learned from playing different genres, and then compare the similarities between genres in terms of learning constructs. In this study, 12 main genres were identified. These genres were: role-playing games, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, first-person shooter, sports, puzzles, real-time strategy, action, turn based, simulation, fighting, kinetic controlled, and casual. In addition, the study identified 19 learning constructs learned from playing these different video game genres. The learning constructs were: coding/computer programming, conflict management, communication skills, creating a community, crafting, critical thinking, attention to detail, building management, hand-eye coordination, how to be competitive, interpersonal skills, map awareness, conducting research, economics, reading comprehension, resource management, strategy, spatial thinking, and time management. Overall, 11 of the 12 video game genres taught at least one learning construct, while some taught up to 18 of the 19 learning concepts. Casual games were the only genre that did not teach a single learning construct. Eight of the twelve video game genres taught at least half of the 19 learning constructs. Each learning construct was taught by at least three video game genres, except for one. Coding/computer programming was not taught by any of the genres. The results allowed the development of a grid that mapped the learning constructs according to the genres it taught, which in turn can be used by educators to introduce video games to teach those learning constructs identified in this study. Overall, the study concluded that with better research, instructors could make more informed decisions when selecting and incorporating video games into their curriculum.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
personal construct theory
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