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Computer Games in Schools: New Survey Reveals What Students Want

An Ipsos MORI survey investigating students' attitudes to mainstream computer games has revealed that three in five 11-16 year-olds would like to use computer games to learn in school. The research, which surveyed over 2,300 11-16 year-old students in England and Wales, explores students' opinion and use of games and the findings could help to determine how computer games may be integrated into the school curriculum.

The study found that younger children were more likely to play games than their older counterparts, with 46% of 11 year olds playing games every day compared with 25% of 15-16 year olds. Younger students were also most likely to want to use computer games in school: 66% of 11 year-olds compared to 49% of 15-16 year-olds.

The survey, which was commissioned as part of Teaching with Games, also found that, of those who did not want to use games at school, 38% would rather play them at home - implying that they see education and computer games as separate activities. Teaching with Games is a one-year research project led by education innovator Futurelab with support from three of the world's leading interactive entertainment software companies; Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Take Two, as well as the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE).

Nearly 90% of those who said they would like to use games at school agreed that it would make lessons more interesting. The perceived benefits of playing computer games were generally positive, regardless of whether or not students were in favour of their use in the classroom. More than two-thirds of respondents thought that games would improve their computer skills and just under half thought that they would help to improve strategic thinking skills such as problem solving. Students also agreed with teachers (who were previously surveyed for Teaching with Games in November of last year) in thinking that games can have negative effects such as reinforcing stereotypical views of people.

Holly Adams, a student from John Cabot City Technology College in Bristol who took part in Teaching with Games, sums up her experience of using games in the classroom: "People were keen to learn using games because it was a different way to do lessons which everyone found fun and interesting."

Mike Rumble, Curriculum Adviser at the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA) agrees: "Young people play computer games not because they are easy or mindless, but precisely because they are the opposite of that - they are hard." He continues: "The outcome of this research will inform further development of learning technologies and the issues that teachers may need to consider when using games software in school."

Teaching with Games aims to explore the practical issues surrounding the use of interactive computer games in schools. A project report, which will include findings, case studies and observations on the use of games in the classroom, is due out in the autumn. For further information on Teaching with Games, go to www.futurelab.org.uk/research/teachingwithgames.htm.

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For further information

Futurelab: Lacia Ashman, tel: 0117 915 8222, lacia.ashman@futurelab.org.uk;

PR: Sarah Scott, Livewire Public Relations, tel: 020 8339 7440, sarah.scott@livewirepr.com <mailto: sarah.scott@livewirepr.com> ;

EA: Tiffany Steckler, tel: +41 22 316 1322, tsteckler@europe.ea.com

Background information

Fieldwork for the Ipsos MORI Schools Omnibus included a sample of 2,334 11-16 year olds in curriculum years 7 to 11 in England and Wales. Self-completion questionnaires were completed in 100 classroom sessions between 24 February and 18 May 2006.

About Futurelab

Futurelab is passionate about transforming the way people learn. Tapping into the huge potential offered by digital and other technologies, it is developing innovative learning resources and practices that support new approaches to education for the 21st century. Working in partnership with industry, policy and practice, Futurelab:

· incubates new ideas, taking them from the lab to the classroom

· offers hard evidence and practical advice to support the design and use of innovative learning tools

· communicates the latest thinking and practice in educational ICT

· provides the space for experimentation and the exchange of ideas between the creative, technology and education sectors.

A not-for-profit organisation, Futurelab is committed to sharing the lessons learnt from our work in order to inform positive change to educational policy and practice. For further information, go to www.futurelab.org.uk. Registered charity 1113051

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com <http://www.ea.com/> . More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com <http://info.ea.com/> .

About the Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division

Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division was created in September 2005 to support the company's software-based services vision and drive innovation in the digital entertainment space. The Entertainment and Devices Division is composed of four main businesses: the Interactive Entertainment Business, which includes both the Xbox and Games for Windows businesses; the Entertainment Business, which focuses on Microsoft's digital entertainment efforts in music, TV and video and includes the MSTV and the Windows XP Media Center Edition products; the Consumer Productivity Experiences Business, which includes the mice and keyboards business, the Macintosh Business Unit, and consumer productivity applications including Encarta, Money and Digital Image Suite; and the Mobile and Embedded Business, which drives the Windows Mobile-based devices business and focuses on the embedded market for Windows CE, Windows XP Embedded and the Automotive Business Unit.

About Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an integrated global developer, marketer, distributor and publisher of interactive entertainment software games and accessories for the PC and videogames systems. The Company publishes and develops products through its wholly owned labels Rockstar Games, 2K and 2K Sports, and Global Star Software; and distributes products in North America through its Jack of All Games subsidiary. The Company maintains sales and marketing offices in Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Milan, Sydney, Breda (Netherlands), Auckland, Shanghai and Tokyo. Take-Two's common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at www.take2games.com <http://www.take2games.com/> .

About ISFE

ISFE (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe) was established in 1998 to represent the interests of the interactive software sector vis-à-vis the EU and international institutions. Initially founded by the national interactive software trade associations in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, ISFE was enlarged in January 2002 to include any company representing the industry, based in the 25 Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Most major publishers of the interactive software industry have now joined ISFE (see full list on www.isfe-eu.org).

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