Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gaming and learning 

Two recent sources cast some doubt over the educational benefits of videogames. Young and colleagues (2012), in an extensive literature review, were able to find little empirical evidence of impact on student learning, whereas Tobias & Fletcher (2011) suggest that the state of games research is not particularly robust and that work on the affordances of videogames is far more advanced than evidence of how those affordances lead to learning. This is interesting given the growing interest in gaming and the widespread claims about children and young people's involvement. To add to the confusion, evidence on the latter is not straightforward. Many researchers, myself included, regularly quote from Pew, but as Warschauer & Matuchniak (2010) point out Pew and other frequently cited sources are limited and sometimes methodologically questionable. I was surprised to read that the average gamer in the US is 37 (Entertainment Software Association, 2011) - although, of course, averages themselves give limited information. Despite all this, there's nothing wrong with being positive about popular pursuits, particularly when they have suffered from such bad press, as videogames have. But these debates made me think about an incipient scientism in the study of digital literacy - one in which percentages and averages masquerade as the truth. Anyway, I got a nice email asking me to show this stuff, below. What do you think?

Little Games Big Business
Created by: BusinessDegree.net

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