Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
I learn from it, although this is not why I play
games”. He remarks, “I enjoy playing games
because it brings out the less serious part of me.
It is not like studying for exam or working in the
garden. If I do not like a game, I won't play it.
But I must read my textbooks and learn what I am
supposed to learn even though I may not like the
course or the textbook”. Student G indicates that
computer games may motivate children to read
but adult learning is a more serious activity. He
says that playing computer games is “about having
fun without thinking about the consequence.” He
believes that learning is about life and anything
we do in life is real and reality has consequences.
“Learning is about working hard and hoping for
the best”. According to him, he does not feel bad
playing computer games because as an adult he
makes his choices. He says, “I make sure that I do
other things which are important in my life and also
play computer games. I practice a balancing act.”
Two respondents believe that computer games
can motivate them to learn if such learning is
related to the concept of computer game. An-
other two of respondents recognize that games
may motivate children to learn perhaps, they
need something stimulating like games in order
to focus. The implication may be that children
need guidance and direction due to their im-
maturity; therefore, games are needed to keep
them motivated. Knowles (1998) recognizes
that adults learn when they perceive immediate
use of the knowledge and skill they will acquire
but computer and video games are based on
fantasies and imaginary concepts not on reality.
Perhaps, the fantasies associated with games in
general make it difficult for learners to perceive
computer games with the seriousness attributed
to learning. As it is evident from the interview
responses, the fun characteristic of games puts
a wedge between computer games and learning.
The latter is perceived is as real and knowledge
acquired from learning is seen as a symbol of in-
vestment for the future. The former is recognized
as a momentary enjoyment. If computer games are
seen to generate momentary entertainment, it is
doubtful if it can be used effectively to motivate
and sustain learning.
According to the interviewees, game and learn-
ing serve two different functions. The former is
used for relaxation and the latter is seen as work.
The idea is that after working hard, it is neces-
sary to relax. Invariably, people choose to relax
using the activity they believe can induce fun.
It is important to know that three of the female
participants believe that some of the games they
play present difficult challenges and when they
are able to win the game, they feel empowered
having defeated a smart machine as one of them
describes the computer. These women also feel
good if they win while playing with others or
just playing in the computer by themselves. It
is interesting to observe that none of the male
respondents feel a sense of empowerment when
they win. This finding is important because it
All the students interviewed agree that their mo-
tivation for paying computer games is not for the
purpose of enhancing their desire to learn. The
results of the interviews show that the purpose
is to have fun and relax. These findings support
the result of a study conducted by Whitton (2000)
where 12 participants in the study acknowledge
that computer games do not motivate them to
learn. Some of the interviewees play games as a
means of socialization. Three students agree that
games help them to avoid learning; for instance,
one of the participants claims that paying computer
games “feeds” his “procrastination” and two oth-
ers state that game playing takes away valuable
time that they could have invested in learning.
The responses of these participants support the
views expressed by Rieber and Noah (1997) who
argue that game may negatively affect learning.
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