Video Games and Learning

  • Matthew BarrEmail author
Part of the Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


Many commercial video games require players to collaborate and communicate with one another in order to progress. Players must also exercise a range of skills and competencies, including adaptability and resourcefulness, to overcome in-game challenges. As it happens, these are the very same abilities that employers seek when hiring graduates, the abilities that higher education is expected to develop in students. The significant potential for learning from video games has not gone unnoticed, of course. Respected academic and businessperson, John Seely Brown, has suggested that he would rather hire an experienced World of Warcraft player than an MBA from Harvard, for example. However, to date, the empirical evidence for the efficacy of using games to develop skills in higher education has been slight. This chapter provides an overview of the theories that underpin the notion of game-based learning, from established concepts of constructivism, experiential learning, and mastery, to the more contemporary learning principles that James Paul Gee has shown to be present in video games. As such, this chapter provides context for the subsequent discussion of an empirical study designed to put such theories to the test.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Computing Science EducationUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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