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Video games research

Playing games can help students to learn, boffins establish.

Embargo:  00.01hrs Thursday 9 th December

Playing active video games such as Nintendo Wii can enhance learning for students.

This is the finding of a PhD study by Dr Andrew Manley from Leeds Metropolitan University who will present his work at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise conference today, Thursday 9 th December, at the Holiday Inn London - Camden Lock.

Active video games (AVGs) have become increasingly popular but can they increase students’ levels of enjoyment, satisfaction, motivation and engagement in lessons?          

One hundred and thirty sport and exercise undergraduates played traditional games such as quoits/hoopla and darts as well as active video games on the Nintendo Wii (Sports Resort, PDC Championship Darts, Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games). Students then completed questionnaires relating to their enjoyment, satisfaction, engagement and academic motivation.

The findings showed that active video games (AVGs) were just as effective as traditional games in creating a learning environment that students found engaging, interesting, useful and fun. 

Students’ comments (e.g. “More Nintendo Wii!!”; “Really good and different way of putting the information across”; “I like these seminars…they are fun whilst putting across an educational aim”) demonstrated that teachers should consider the use of AVGs within the delivery of learning activities.

Andrew explained: “The increased sophistication of AVG technology provides teachers with new ways to engage students. As AVGs can increase motivation and interest, they represent an effective resource for enhancing students’ understanding of new and complex ideas.”

The full conference programme can be viewed online.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Kathryn McCullagh, Public Relations and Marketing Officer, British Psychological Society. Tel: 0116 252 9908


Date:   2 December 2010

Ref:      PR1821

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