Game Development Reference
establishment of links with other players who can
help in obtaining success (Johnson, 2006).
The environment that places players in control
of their own journey meets the desires of a new
generation of students. Students born after the
popularization of technology and electronic games
are known as “screenagers”, children of simula-
tion culture, children of chaos, game generation,
digital natives or “Net Generation” (Akilli, 2007;
Alves, 2005; Prensky, 2003).
These students have a few things in common.
Firstly, they are information producers. Secondly,
they prefer learning using the trial-error method
performing several tasks simultaneously in a
non-linear approach. Furthermore, they maintain
a positive perspective on technology and use it as
a way of improving socialization through instant
messaging programs as well as the interaction
possibilities brought forward by online games,
forums and social networks such as “Facebook”
(Alves, 2005; Beedle & Wright, 2007; Prensky,
2005; Van Eck, 2006).
Electronic games can be designated as a
knowledge building environment as well as a place
for entertainment (Williamson, 2009). Players
become active knowledge builders by actually
playing as opposed to being mere observers.
They can only be successful in the game after
they manage to uncover a series of regulations,
actions, and routines (Klopfer, 2008).
This way, players create a process of interpre-
tation regarding the gameplay causing them to
develop analogies between symbolic representa-
tions encrusted within the competition and their
real lives by actively decoding “tips” provided by
the game itself. Players then learn the properties
of the virtual world by interacting with its sym-
bology thus establishing a relationship between
these symbols and by acting accordingly by the
rules that govern the game system (Squire, 2002).
Games can be viewed as being authentic learn-
ing environments because players are positioned in
contact with practical situations, which are closer
to real life situations than those experienced in a
school environment (Galarneau, 2005; Steinkue-
hler, 2004; Williamson, 2009).
Even though some authors state that games can
increase problem resolution capacities and critical
thinking (Steinkuehler, 2004; Williamson, 2009),
Squire (2002) believes that there is not sufficient
evidence to suggest that students are able to trans-
fer abilities learned in the gaming environment
to solve real life problems. This is due to the fact
that the problems presented in games are placed
in an entirely different context in comparison to
those experienced in real life.
The game environment becomes exceedingly
motivating as described by Goldstein (2005).
Players normally begin playing as a result of a
personal choice thus; they do not need any type
of exterior power that would entice them to initi-
ate this activity.
According to Squire (2002), the immersive
and motivating environments portrayed in games
and simulations promote productive gaming. This
way, learning occurs through the construction of
micro universes, the manipulation of simulations
as well as the physical act of playing. Persuasive
environments are produced. These are capable of
transmitting ideas, manners of acting, and gen-
erating a sequence of collateral learning among
players (Pivec, 2009; Williamson, 2009). In ad-
dition to this, Pivec (2009) affirms that games
such as RPGs or real-time simulations are highly
motivational and promote an ideal scenario for
cognitive development because they possess im-
mediate feedback with regards to players' actions.
The majority of video games can be played
in multiplayer mode. This way, players can use
the game's settings as well as other communica-
tion tools such as forums and instant messaging
programs to discuss strategies and organize
groups. Most of the enterprises responsible for
these games develop these forms of interaction
In conclusion, a game can encourage com-
munication and the construction of social bonds
between players not only by supplying commu-
nication and interaction tools but also by making