Exploring the Link Between Player Involvement and Learning Within Seventh Generation Video Games

Iacovides, Ioanna (2009). Exploring the Link Between Player Involvement and Learning Within Seventh Generation Video Games. MRes thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f28c

Abstract

Digital games are becoming increasingly popular with the latest generation of consoles introducing games to an even wider audience. Academic interest in the educational potential of video games is also growing and seems to stem from the fact that they are considered motivating. However, while there is some research on what makes games engaging, there is still a need to further our understanding of the link between player involvement and learning. This project aims to explore the informal learning that occurs within games, to identify the experience of player involvement, and to investigate the relationship between the two. The Digital Game Experience Model (DGEM), with its metaphor of incorporation (Calleja, 2007), is introduced as a framework that can help address these issues and to provide researchers in the area with a common terminology. A case study methodology was adopted, while the method itself consisted of an observation of game-play and a post-play cued interview in which a recording of the game-play was reviewed. A summarised version of each case-study, with an example of a critical instance or theme, is presented in order to illustrate how the DGEM was used to address the research questions. The findings indicate a very close relationship between the learning that occurs within the game and the involvement experienced by the player, suggesting that a certain amount of learning is required before the player can experience deeper levels of involvement. However, further research is needed before any conclusive claims can be made and to establish whether the metaphor of incorporation applies to all types of games.

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