Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
and quantity of action than the students without
such experience.
Several studies report about bad influences of
computer games on children and adolescents, for
example Anderson & Bushman (2001), Sharif &
Sargent (2006), Bartholow et al. (2005), Gentile
et al. (2004), hence, cautions are required while
designing educational games to avoid the potential
harm that playing could cause.
Game designers are presented with different
goals which have to be achieved, such as providing
standardized test scores, fitting the content to the
curricula which lists the abilities that the student
will acquire at a certain grade level. As the stan-
dards of curricula differ in different countries and
even vary from school to school, game develop-
ment becomes more expensive (Martinez, 2006).
Gros (2007) points out that educational games
are able to effectively promote conceptual learn-
ing, problem solving skills, co-operation, and
practical participation.
Completely preoccupied with the problems
that the game sets, children should feel pleasure
in their own strength test to solve the problem.
Thus, a game is an important motivational tool
for stimulating children's thinking and learning
activities. Children experience their first encounter
with a computer often through playing a com-
puter game. The implementation of educational
computer games is an opportunity to begin using
computers in teaching younger pupils at elemen-
tary schools.
Squire et al. (2008) describe a case study about
a one year long program of learning history through
a historical computer simulation game situated
within a community. Several pupils between the
age of 8 and 12 who had problems in school, did
not like school, had poor achievements in learn-
ing, did not like history, had not been interested
in history and disliked social studies, were part
of a one year long project of learning history in a
learning community through a video game, namely
Civilization 3. The participating pupils did not
have any experience in playing computer games
before. They did not even have any knowledge of
the Windows environment, but they were highly
motivated to participate in the game and enjoyed
it. During the year of the project, they got better
grades in social studies, and they began to read
topics and watch documentaries about history.
The camp functioned as a bridging gaming space
which connected the school and the out-of-school
life of the participating pupils, which is a difficult
achievement for an underserved and underprivi-
leged youth.
Non-traditional students live mostly distant
from the faculty, they are mainly full-time workers
and often have dependents, hence distance learning
is more convenient and in many cases the only
way for them to get further education. Distance
learning, accessible at any time from any place, can
Pedagogical and Social Effects
of Educational Games
One of the opportunities that educational games
offer is to improve thinking, i.e. cognitive pro-
cesses. Playing games stimulates creativity, and
enables learning by exploring and discovering.
For effective learning, knowledge should be
uniquely constructed by people through play, ex-
ploration and social discourse with others (Amory
& Seagram, 2003). Learning objectives presented
in the constructivist learning environments should
be firmly embedded in a context, and should, at
least in some way, represent everyday life situa-
tions. Learners should also accept responsibility
for their own learning and be self-motivated to
explore different knowledge domains.
Takashi (2007) gives results of research on
the state of video games and learning games in
Japan and describes the educational functions of
games. Educational games should enhance vari-
ous abilities: problem solving, strategic thinking,
group decision making, planning, negotiation
and communication ability. Games also stimulate
metacognition in learners, because performances
on the screen can be objectively observed.
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