ERIC Number: ED394500
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Instructional Applications of Computer Games.
Dempsey, John V.; And Others
Games have long been used as instructional tools, but actual research examining that concept has been sparse. Increased sophistication and lower cost in hardware and software for personal computers has created a budding movement to incorporate computer games into learning environments. This paper discusses criteria for selecting an instructional game, which include simplicity, adaptability, potential for educational use, difference from other games in its category, and ability to be played by a single player. Games are grouped into eight categories: adventure games; arcade games; board games; card games; miscellaneous games; puzzles; simulations; and word games. The paper also describes some instructional applications of computer games, and describes a study in which 40 computer games were sampled by 40 adult participants; each game was played by two males and two females. An evaluator was present as the game was played. Researcher observation and follow-up interviews with the participants shed light on how differences in gender, learning style, and preferred problem-solving strategy affected the impact of the game on the individual learner. Results of the study showed that subjects felt that adventure, arcade, board, simulations, puzzles, and wordgames could be used for teaching problem solving and decision making. Most players felt that games containing violence had no place in education. Several players felt that the gambling scenarios depicted in card games were inappropriate for children, and should be limited to an adult population. A list of games used in the study and a list of suggested instructional benefits of various classifications of computer games are appended. (Contains 18 references.) (BEW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).