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ERIC Number: EJ997752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
Problem Solving Processes and Video Games: The Sim City Creator Case
Monjelat, Natalia; Mendez-Zaballos, Laura; Lacasa, Pilar
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v10 n3 p1493-1522 2012
Introduction: Video games have proven to be a valuable resource to work different school subjects and topics. Beyond specific content, they could help to develop different abilities, like problem solving. However, not much has been studied on this topic, or many of the studies followed a perspective not entirely compatible with an educational approach. Method: Based on the theory of information processing we analyse the problem-solving processes presented in a classroom when the commercial game Sim City Creator was introduced. The data come from an ethnographic study conducted in a secondary school in Madrid, with students of 3 [degrees] ESO, where Sim City Creator was used in Socio-Linguistic Area. Qualitative approach and case study perspective along with discourse analysis was the frame for the data analysis. Results: When students are faced with the problems of the game, they build representations. To do so, they identify the necessary operators, located in the game menu, also considering the conditions exposed by them, the teacher or the game play, which narrow the problem space. Also, in order to solve the problems students use different strategies, among which we highlight the use of previous schemes and the establishment of subgoals. Discussion and conclusion: Commercial video games used in educational settings can become valuable resources to develop problem-solving processes. The support of teachers and their knowledge of the game are a valuable asset when it comes to take advantage of the game, favouring the construction of representations of the different problems that appear during the game. (Contains 9 figure and 4 footnotes.)
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain (Madrid)