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Behavioural Changes in Students Participating in an Upper Secondary Education Program Using Unmodified Computer Games as the Primary Teaching Tool
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of CGAMES 2005, 7:th International Conference on Computer Games, 28-30 November 2005 / [ed] Mehdi, Q., Gough, N., and Natkin S., Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technologies , 2005, 66-73 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The extensive use of computer games have been suggested to induce behavioural differences in the players as a result of neuroplasticity. Such changes, if present, suggests that computer games may be ideally suited as teaching tools for students having grown up with this technology. Using computer games extensively in the education system would in turn increase the gaming exposure significantly, even further accentuating any such neuroplastically mediated behavioural changes. To obtain information on possible changes in student behaviour patterns in key areas, an empirical study was conducted. Students participating in a test project extensively using computer games as teaching tools, were interviewed about both games related and other key behaviours. Results show some changed behaviours in the studied areas, such as decreased television watching habits and a shift from FPS to MMORPG as favourite game genre. While being consistent with computer games being able to induce behavioural changes through neuroplasticity, other factors may also have contributed in the studied case, and more research is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technologies , 2005. 66-73 p.
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38039ISBN: 0-9549016-2-6OAI: diva2:305872
CGAMES, 28-30 November 2005, Angouleme, France
Available from: 2010-03-25 Created: 2010-03-25 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perception of Computer Games in Non-Gaming Contexts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perception of Computer Games in Non-Gaming Contexts
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As computer games have evolved from single-player entities to complex, highly communicative on-line game worlds, their potential to fill different roles in society has grown. One aspect of this change is that various forms of computer mediated communication may become increasingly associated with games in various ways. Another issue is that of extensive exposure to computer games possibly leading to behavioural change through the mechanism of neuroplasticity, as argued by some researchers. Finally, since experiences from using game-like software designed explicitly for teaching purposes, edutainment, have been reported to be somewhat disappointing, the alternative to use unmodified straight-from-the-shelf computer games as learning environments in school is an interesting option.

To investigate these issues a series of empirical studies were conducted, the first of which were dual interview studies with students of various ages in schools in two different regions, mapping their communication habits and associations of these with games. Secondly, a series of longitudal studies were performed during the course of a four-year experimental school project, where a class of upper secondary education students used regular computer games as their main didactic environment in school.

Results show that computer mediated chat, as well as peer-to-peer file sharing, is in various ways spontaneously associated with computer games to a substantial degree. Empathy with game developers’ efforts is identified as a possible countermeasure against software piracy of games, as opposed to legislation. The theory of neuroplasticity induced behavioural change as a result of extensive exposure to computer games is corroborated by empirical observations, but not proven since other possible mechanisms are also present. The longitudal data indicates a high didactic potential in regular computer games used as learning tools in school. The teacher’s role is not marginalized but is perceived as essential by participating students, and a systematic model for evaluating the didactic potential of multimodal media such as computer games is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2010. 98 p.
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 10-007
Computer games, Games, Learning, Communication
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39930 (URN)978-91-7447-104-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-18, sal B, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2010-09-26 Created: 2010-06-03 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

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