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What can be Learned From Playing Digital Games Outside School?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Games Based Learning – ECGBL 2014 / [ed] Busch, C., Reading: Academic Conferences Limited, 2014, Vol. 1, 415-422 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Games based learning (GBL) in educational contexts is an old tradition where mathematics and strategy have been learned for thousands of tears by playing board games like Kalah/Mancala and Chess. The African game Kalaha is a member in the board game group called Mancala and was played in Egypt as early as in the period between 1500 – 1150 B.C. The discussion on pedagogical aspects of gaming in general started at university level in the 1970s by pedagogues like Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. In the 1980s when computer became available for ordinary people Thomas Malone did an analysis of standard commercial of the shelf (COTS) computer games and investigated why people find them fun and motivating. Later it has been widely discussed how much you can learn from playing games, if the knowledge is transferable to daily life situations and if learning only is possible with tailor-made learning games or serious games. The so called digital natives is the first generation that has played digital games since kindergarten. What are their own opinions on digital games and informal learning by gaming? The aim of this study is to analyse and discuss what digital natives might have learned from their pre-university gaming and if the acquired skills and knowledge can be of use in other contexts. An analysis has been done based on an assignment in a course on GBL where students submitted and discussed essays in a virtual learning environment. Furthermore students’ experiences from learning games have been discussed in groups in the GBL course examination seminars. Findings show that most students claim that they have learned things from playing COTS as well as learning games and several students mention that skills and knowledge have been of use in non-gaming contexts. Some examples of areas where students mention learning are language speaking and reading skills, interpersonal collaboration, strategic thinking, stress management, and knowledge about history and other cultures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading: Academic Conferences Limited, 2014. Vol. 1, 415-422 p.
, Proceedings of the European Conference on Games-Based Learning, ISSN 2049-0992
Keyword [en]
Games based learning, GBL, Digital games, Learning by gaming, Informal learning
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108697ISI: 000351435200051ISBN: 978-1-910309-57-5OAI: diva2:760075
ECGBL 2014, 8th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 9-10 October, 2014, Berlin, Germany
Available from: 2014-11-03 Created: 2014-11-03 Last updated: 2015-04-23Bibliographically approved

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Mozelius, Peter
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