Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
shows that some women are still playing catch-
up with men in the domain of computer games.
The results of these interviews also show that
most participants feel good after playing games.
But one respondent indicates that games help in
perpetuating procrastination and the other two
interviewees believe that playing games takes
reading time away from them. Three participants
admit that they use computer games to avoid
boredom. All these point to the negative aspect
of computer games. The assumption that motiva-
tion to play computer games will unequivocally
motivate students to learn is rather too simplistic.
Such assumption ignores the obscure differences
between playing games and learning as the results
of the interviews have shown.
In any given learning situation, some students
succeed in achieving good grades but in computer
games, only one individual emerge as a winner.
In learning, students are required to use their
knowledge to solve problems outside the confine
of the classroom by requiring them to complete
real-life projects. Gamers are not subjected to this
requirement; the essence of games is to enjoy and
have fun and this is explicitly demonstrated in the
interview as well as in most literature reviewed.
The lesson learned from the these interviews is
that learning and playing computer games are two
different activities; the former is linked to work and
the latter to fun, thereby, they fulfill two different
desires of life. Therefore, it is assumed that the
activities designed for games may not adequately
serve as motivation for learning. The interviews
also show that computer games can serve as a
distraction for some of the students.
of computer games to facilitate instruction rather
than on students' motivation to learn. Opinions
on the educational value of computer game-based
instruction are divided. There is no doubt that
computer games are fun to play and that they
have the power to captivate players and keep them
focused. The problem facing game developers
and designers is how to harness such captivation
and transfer it into the learning environment so
that learning can be improved. Therefore, the task
for educational practitioners and game develop-
ers is to produce games that have fun elements,
based on learning theories and educate teachers
on the application of those games including the
underlying theories that justify their educational
use. The stumbling block is to determine how this
can be achieved.
The findings of the interviews discussed above
demonstrate that fun generated by computer games
alone may not necessarily motivate students to
learn. While it is may be naïve to draw a firm
conclusion based on the interviews, neverthe-
less, the results have provided insight regarding
students' motivation to play computer games and
their perceptions of games and learning. Rigorous
research studies are needed to further investigate
educational benefits of computer-games. Judg-
ing from the data gathered from the literature, it
is logical to conclude that game-based learning
has a promising future as game researchers begin
to address issues that cloud the implementation
of educational games. So far the effectiveness
of computer games as learning tools remains
speculative partly because it is still evolving.
Before the question of whether or not computer
games can motivate learning, the first step is to
provide robust scientific evidence showing that
games can be used effectively to improve learning
before it can be successfully determined if they
(computer games) can also motivate and sustain
learning. So far, much vagueness surrounds the
use of computer games to motivate students to
learn and/or sustain learning.
The review of both empirical and theoretical papers
including the results of the interviews discussed
above show that the use of computer games may
not necessarily motivate learning. Current research
on computer and video games focuses on the use
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