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Learning Stimulating Effects of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Games
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the fourth international conference on e-learning (ICEL2013), The Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications (SDIWC) , 2013, 38-44 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Playing games to support learning is an old conceptthat has got a revival today in the widespread use ofcomputer games. To insert educational content intovarious types of computer games is a strong trendthat some researchers have described as a mad rush.Game based learning has become a wide andheterogeneous field with large variations in designbetween serious games that has been developed for adistinct educational purpose, and Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) games designed for playabilityand entertainment.The aim of this article is to discuss the possiblelearning stimulating effects of COTS games in along-term perspective. We argue that COTS gameplayers’ attitudes towards learning may change in apositive direction even in cases where the directlearning outcomes are not that high. This may be thecase when in-game skills are described in terms ofreal life skills commonly associated with highereducation, such as engineering, electronics orgeology. A common game design is that when a highenough skill level is achieved, then and only then isthe player rewarded with access to better equipment,access to interesting areas and similar pleasantexperiences. The game then has a potential to triggeran important psychological reward mechanism in theplayer’s mind.COTS games could like educational games havemore than just in-game goals and the meta goals in agame are the ones that remain in the player’s mindafter the game has ended. The causality of theperceived experience is ideally that with high enoughskills, the player receives positive stimulation. Withthis approach it would not matter that the actuallearning will have to take place elsewhere, and mostlikely later when the player makes decisions abouthis or her higher education. The contribution of thegaming lies not in the short-term learning outcome,but rather in the long-term effects it may have onpersonal development and future educational choices.Even if such a game do not fulfill the criteria forlearning games it may still be seen as a learningstimulating game. Future research should include alarge scale study investigating the relationshipbetween playing COTS games and students’ choicesand results in higher education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications (SDIWC) , 2013. 38-44 p.
Keyword [en]
Learning stimulation, Computer games, Commercial off-the-shelf games, Learning stimulating games
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95947ISBN: 978-0-9853483-9-7OAI: diva2:662480
The Fourth International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL2013), Ostrava, Czech Republic, July 8-10, 2013
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-11-07 Last updated: 2013-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Wiklund, MatsMozelius, Peter
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