Video Games – a Source of Knowledge? - an investigation amongst youths about their thoughts on their video gaming habits

University essay from Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen

Abstract: This research is based on the following research question: What are the pupils’ thoughts about their gaming habits and possible learning situations in connection with their gaming? The study is based on literature on the subject and on two interviews with five youths who are between sixteen and seventeen years of age. The conclusions that can be drawn from my research question are: - Learning could take place in different domains and be put into different contexts. Hence, language learnt from playing video games, could be applied on domains outside of the game, i.e. implicit learning in terms of using a foreign language when communicating with other players can become tacit knowledge that the learner can apply on settings outside of the game. Also, social skills learnt from the structure of a game like World of Warcraft can be used in a formal educational setting. As a video game is multimodal in its nature there are benefits from also using other multimodal material in formal education, as many of the pupils are familiar and used to the same sort of text. - There are also problems connected to informal learning. The informants in this study describe how their interest in video games often clashes with their formal education. Another aspect is of course how the quality of the content learnt within an informal setting is being supervised, in contrast to how the formal education works with a trained teacher and a set curriculum that carefully explains how the learning should become available for the learner. Finally, one of the informants explains how his writing skills has become worse because of his informal training of English, since he wants to use smilies and abbreviations in formal text writing.

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