Iacovides, Ioanna; Aczel, James; Scanlon, Eileen and Woods, Will
Investigating the relationships between informal learning and player involvement in digital games.
Learning, Media and Technology, 37(3) pp. 321–327.
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In the last few years, digital games have become increasingly popular with both ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ audiences. At the same time, it has been argued that games can be powerful learning environments, since they are seen to encourage active and critical learning through participation in affinity groups and semiotic domains but there is a need for further empirical evidence to explore how this participation occurs and how prevalent it actually is. In addition the effectiveness of games within education indicates mixed results, though it has been suggested that this may indicate that learning through immersive worlds involves a more complex understanding of learning, one that is not so easy to tie to specified learning outcomes. It would seem the area would benefit from research that seeks to develop our understanding of how player involvement and learning come together in this context. This paper presents the preliminary results of a survey carried out in order to explore these issues. The initial findings suggest that how a player identifies as a gamer relates to what they think they gain from their gaming experiences with respect to learning.
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