Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research questions the educational possibilities of some TV and computer games

Date:
April 4, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
There is a considerable amount of interest among researchers, educationalists and from the games industry in the educational possibilities offered by video and computer games. Some of the arguments about this educational potential are about so called open-ended games, games where the players set their own goals or plans and chooses which way the game goes. Now research from Sweden reveals that as a mean to challenge pupils' ideas and values, then these open-ended games are not appropriate.

There is a considerable amount of interest among researchers, educationalists and from the games industry in the educational possibilities offered by video and computer games. Some of the arguments about this educational potential are about so called open-ended games, games where the players set their own goals or plans and chooses which way the game goes. Now a thesis from the University of Gothenburg reveals that as a mean to challenge pupils' ideas and values, then these open-ended games are not appropriate.

Previous research has suggested that circular games with open ends, known as open-ended or sandbox games, can support exploratory learning in which players can explore the game content in such a way that they learn about a specific content or phenomenon while playing.

But the characteristics attributed to this type of game are seldom backed up by empirical research. Drawing on observations of play activities recorded on video, Louise Peterson shows how meaning and values are negotiated during actual game play.

Previous research draws attention to the progressive potential of this game genre. However Peterson argues that the relative "freedom" afforded young people as they play within open-ended game worlds can actually reproduce, rather than disrupt, prevailing norms and values. This because the players proved to be using their sociocultural experiences -- what they already know -- as a resource in their play activity.

This suggests that the educational potential of games might not be in exploring, but rather in the fact that rule-based activities make players orientate themselves to specific topics. Hence, open-ended exploration within immersive game worlds might not be an appropriate way to challenge young people's preconceptions and stereotypes.

Gaming is also a diversified practice. When the player himself sets up plans and goals, the results will be different and it is difficult for an educationalist to gain an overview of how learning objectives are met. From an educational perspective, the use of this type of game is an uncertain activity and the thesis shows that open-ended and free exploration of game content is not the best way of teaching with regard to norms and values. Louise Peterson's research provides an educational perspective as to how to study players using computer games, i.e. the actual playing activity.

"We need to have an understanding of this type of game and the terms of game activity such as this before we use it in teaching," she says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Research questions the educational possibilities of some TV and computer games." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404173238.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, April 4). Research questions the educational possibilities of some TV and computer games. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404173238.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Research questions the educational possibilities of some TV and computer games." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404173238.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins