Visual perspectives within educational computer games: effects on presence and flow within virtual immersive learning environments
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The mis-categorizing of cognitive states involved in learning within virtual environments has complicated instructional technology research. Further, most educational computer game research does not account for how learning activity is influenced by factors of game content and differences in viewing perspectives. This study is a qualitative exploration into the nature of flow—the state of being absorbed by an activity, and presence—the sense of “being there” in a virtual learning environment. This study follows players’ experiences within an immersive environment, with the notion of “immersive” being the extent to which the computer system delivers a surrounding environment. The data analysis includes videotaped activity, transcripts and interviews of six different games, three of which have explicit learning objectives derived from two different genres. While viewing perspective was previously thought to have significant influence on presence, flow, and learning, these findings suggest that four emergent categories (content, emotion, motivation, engagement) have more influence than perspective.
KeywordsGames Perspective Presence Flow Immersion Virtual environments
We appreciate the efforts of the Utah State University Spring 2005 Instructional Games class (a.k.a. Luscious Sanguine Stratum) for their work in developing VOSR. We would also like to thank Tim Stowell for his work in the development of VOSR 3D. This research was partially funded by the office of the Vice President for Research Office at Utah State University.
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