Understanding learning in video games: A phenomenological approach to unpacking boy cultures in virtual worlds
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This paper describes the findings of a phenomenological research study to uncover possible skills that boys learn through peer supported activities using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) video games. By drawing on a cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) conceptual framework and prioritizing student voice, this study found that boys engaged in a variety of non-cognitive skills through their COTS video gameplay. The boys in this study expressed experiences that mirrored twenty-first century skills and aligned with the Partnership for twenty-first Century Learning Framework through digital gameplay. These findings are both novel and profound as they suggest that the ways boys engage in COTS video gaming may offer valuable learning traits that may be used by educators in traditional classroom settings, which may help to re-engage boys and improve academic performance in a twenty-first Century education system.
KeywordsGame-based learning COTS Gender studies Boys Twenty-first century skills Learning outcome
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study in accordance with Pennsylvania State University’s IRB protocols.
Conflict of interest
No authors have any known conflicts of interest.
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