Education & Video Games: Does awareness of educational intention affect a video game’s educational effectiveness?
Nesse van der Meer
Background: For years, studies have examined whether the medium of video games can be an effective tool for education. While the medium has long been considered a distraction rather than a motivation – especially in relation to education – recent years have shown an increasing interest in video games’ ability to attract and captivate people of all ages. This thesis aims to examine if a negative attitude towards education negates any or all of the promising characteristics that make video games a potential tool for educating. In particular, this thesis focuses on examining if educational video games could potentially be more effective (in educating) if the intention to educate is concealed.
Methods: First, a survey was applied to examine how participants of different ages generally view educational video games (based on previous interaction with the medium). Then, an experiment was designed to examine whether transferability of educational content differed between two conditions – an open- and a closed-labeled one.
Results: Results of the survey reveal a bias towards education, with participants (n = 30) generally preferring regular video games over educational ones. Results of the experiment on correlation between educational awareness and educational effectiveness, using open-labeled (n = 10) and closed-labeled (n = 10) groups, do not support the hypothesis.
Nesse van der Meer, "Education & Video Games: Does awareness of educational intention affect a video game’s educational effectiveness?", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2016