The Effects of a Serious Game on Learning
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This study tested the hypothesis that video game attributes (e.g., points, competition, pedagogical agents) affect learning and engagement in a computerized learning environment. Thirty-two undergraduate psychology students were randomly assigned to two computerized learning environments meant to teach aspects of scientific inquiry (e.g., the need for control groups). Both groups read, critiqued and identified flaws in short descriptions of research. One group used a program that simulates a video game environment while the other used a traditional computer-assisted instructional format. Both conditions were given a pre-test and post-test. An interaction between time of test and the game was found, indicating that more learning occurred in the game condition than in the no-game condition. This suggests that games do increase learning, however there is no indication based on other results that they increase motivation and engagement.