Learning Links: A study of narrative learning through games with The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Suzanne, de Castell
Emily, Flynn-Jones
Jennifer, Jenson
Kelly, Bergstrom
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This paper details the iterative design and preliminary findings of a school-based study of whether, what and how students can learn about narrative---a foundational learning goal in elementary language arts – by playing a narratively structured commercial game. Working with a grade 6 teacher, we ran 3 lunchtime programs that involved playing The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, under three different conditions, from a minimally-interventionist “just play” approach, to an explicitly instructionist “knowledge delivery” one. Only in the third (explicit instruction) phase of the project were we able to generate evidence of significant “learning through play”. We conclude by considering impediments, both practical and theoretical, that stand in the way of bridging the persistent gap between “claims” and “evidence” in digital game-based learning research.
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gameplay, gender, learning, Zelda
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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