Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
SUPPORT FOR COMPUTER GAMES
AS MOTIVATION FOR LEARNING
(p.42). According to Prensky (2005) all sorts of
electronic devices including music, movies, and
computer games engage students. Siang and
Rao (2003) conclude that “when basic rules of
the games are understood, players start to think
cognitively how they should respond in new situ-
ation, actively update existing knowledge to fit
what is newly confronted in the game environ-
ment” (p. 241).
Whelan (2005) acknowledges that games pro-
vide the opportunity for students to be involved in
fun stimulating activities and that such involve-
ment will “motivate them to retain the learned
materials (p. 41). Whelan further states that “if
we treat school activity in terms of learning, play-
ing, and helping, then we can more thoroughly
engage children in the learning process” (p. 41).
The power of computer games to re-create the
past has been documented by Squire (2002) as
shown below.
The study conducted by Akpan and Andre (2000)
which involves 81 students shows that the ex-
perimental group is exposed to simulated frog
dissection before the actual dissection. According
to Akpan and Andre, the results indicate that the
experimental group significantly out-performed
the control group indicating that the students who
used simulated form of dissection understood the
anatomy lesson better than those who are exposed
to dissection alone. However, DeJong and Joolin-
gen (1998) found no difference in their study
of 46 students using physics simulation game.
Oblinger (2004) believes that “oftentimes students
are motivated to learn materials (e. g., mythology
or math) when it is required for successful game
play - that same material might otherwise be
considered tedious” (p.13). According to many
observers, computer games have known to gen-
erate social relationships among gamers and that
such shared interest can improve communal and
cultural understanding (Squire, 2002).
Researchers argue that computers games in-
volve interactive participation and collaboration
and as a result may enhance collaborative and
active learning process which involves learning
by doing (Mitchell and Savill-Smith, 2004). Jones
(1982 and Nemitcheva (1995) maintain that sci-
entists have provided report that increasing fun
while learning can promote learning because such
fun activity can stimulate the dopamine system
which in turn improves the process of learning.
Uzun (2009) observes “that games “are perceived
as a reward or free time which highly motivates
students” (p. 47). The position taken by Uzun
supports Purushotma (2005) who claims that
games can possibly be motivating even to the
point of arousing addictive tendencies. Batson
and Feinberg (2006) argue that “computer games
provide straightforward navigation and increased
motivation, which makes it easier for students to
stay with the game in order to learn the concepts”
games allow learners to interact with systems in
increasingly complex way. Digital games players
can relive historical era (as in pirates!), investi-
gate complex systems like the Earth's chemical
and life cycles…(p. 3).
Tuzun, Yilmaz-Soylu, Karakus, Inal and
Kizilkaya (2009) have reported that 24 fifth grad-
ers who participated in their study exhibited high
level of intrinsic motivation and less worry con-
cerning grades following the study of geography
lesson which utilized game format. Ke (2008) and
Papastergiou (2005) perceive educational games
as well as simulations to be effective in motivat-
ing students to learn. While the proponents of
computer games for learning believe that games
can enhance learning opportunity, critics point
out that computer games may hinder learning
and that learning resulting from games may not
be appropriate.
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