Computer Science in Online Gaming Communities

  • Lassi HaaranenEmail author
  • Rodrigo Duran
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 865)


The culture of playing video games has evolved rapidly in the past decade. Presently, there are many different types of online communities that have games or a particular game as their focus. Some games, in particular, can be used as a platform for introducing and discussing computer science concepts. We wanted to investigate how these online gaming communities and computer science are intertwined. We approached this by gathering user interaction data in two previous studies from which this article presents a more comprehensive synthesis. We found that the online gaming communities have rich interactions that relate to programming and computer science. Based on the qualitative analysis, we categorized these interactions in three themes: learning, programming experience, and community. In addition to the interaction analysis, we present four perspectives that we found particularly useful in analyzing these online communities: engagement, interactivity, exposure, and technical detail. We conclude that these communities and interactions within them can act as a form of outreach. Furthermore, they act as places where newcomers meet with more experienced programmers.


Computer science education Online communities Informal learning Collaborative learning Game-based learning 



Rodrigo Duran was supported by CNPq-Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalto UniversityHelsinkiFinland

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