The Open UniversitySkip to content

Motivation, engagement and learning through digital games

Iacovides, Ioanna; Aczel, James; Scanlon, Eileen; Taylor, Josie and Woods, William (2011). Motivation, engagement and learning through digital games. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(2) pp. 1–16.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (326Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Digital games can be powerful learning environments because they encourage active learning and participation within “affinity groups” (Gee, 2004). However, the use of games in formal educational environments is not always successful (O’Neil et al., 2005). There is a need to update existing theories of motivation and engagement in order to take recent game-related developments into account. Understanding the links between why people play games, what keeps them engaged in this process, and what they learn as a result could have a significant impact on how people value and use games for learning. This paper examines key research that relates to motivation, engagement, and informal learning through digital games, in order to highlight the need for empirical studies which examine the activities that occur in and around everyday gaming practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 IGI Global
ISSN: 1947-8518
Extra Information: This paper appears in the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, as cited above. Posted by permission of the publisher.
Keywords: computer games; digital games; engagement; game-based learning; gaming capital; informal learning; involvement; motivation; video games
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Incubation
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 28754
Depositing User: Users 7961 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 08:01
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2017 17:32
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340