Interactive Software Federation of Europe


Video Games As A Complementary Tool for Education


A paper from Dr. Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak about the educational potential of video games.


"Games appropriately matched to the age and cognitive capabilities of students can successfully serve as a complement to traditional teaching. These do not cease to be either important or effective. But we should keep in mind the rapidly changing media environment and the reality in which students grow and the most important principle of verba docent exempla trahunt ("words teach, examples lead") guaranteeing educational success."



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Video game playing, addiction, and the role of context

A blogpost from Professor Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University - International Gaming Research Unit - Psychology Division) about two case studies of two male gamers claiming to be playing for up to 80 hours a week.

"Online gaming addiction should be characterized by the extent to which excessive gaming impacts negatively on other areas of the gamers’ lives rather than the amount of time spent playing. For me, an activity cannot be described as an addiction if there are few (or no) negative consequences in the player’s life even if the gamer is playing 14 hours a day. The difference between a healthy enthusiasm and an addiction is that healthy enthusiasms add to life, addictions take away from it."

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Gamers Solve Longstanding Scientific Problem

Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules. This class of enzymes, called retroviral proteases, has a critical role in how the AIDS virus matures and proliferates. Intensive research is under way to try to find anti-AIDS drugs that can block these enzymes, but efforts were hampered by not knowing exactly what the retroviral protease molecule looks like.
Read more about the gamers' achievement here.

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Four Ways to Teach with Video Games

Researcher Max Lieberman presents in his study 4 ways to teach with games (teaching with content-aligned games, using games as texts, having students make games and integrating game-like motivational systems in the classroom). The author explains the great potential of teaching with games, and also raises the challenges that educators are facing in their implementation. 

Article Here

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Media Violence: Moral Panic or Injury?

NOVA is a research institute of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. It has published a report that summarises and discusses the findings from research on the association between violence in the media (including video games) and personal violence in practice. The report reviews academic literature between 1995 until 2010, supplemented with contributions prior to 1995 which are of particular interest.

On the basis of the studies of this report NOVA does not find any reason to exercise extreme caution in giving advice or making recommendations.
A prudent conclusion would be that media violence can be injurious for some. The uncertainty associated with this is nevertheless so large that it is difficult to defend comprehensive and costly measures which would reduce media violence to a degree [...]. On this basis, we cannot base our relation to media violence on the extent to which it can be maintained that such violence is injurious. An evaluation of media violence should preferably be controlled by those values which society wishes to promote, and which ultimately cannot be measured empirically.

The full study can be downloaded on NOVA's website.

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