Playing Games at University

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


It has been argued that video games might be used to develop in students the desirable skills and competencies sometimes referred to as graduate attributes. However, in order to assess this claim, empirical research that examines the relationship between playing video games at university and the attainment of such attributes is required. In this chapter, a randomised controlled study is described, wherein undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a control group. The intervention group played specified video games under controlled conditions over a period of one semester, while control group participants did not. Control and intervention group attribute attainment was tested at the beginning and the end of the study, allowing comparisons to be made between the development of communication skill, resourcefulness, and adaptability in both groups. For each of these graduate attribute measures, the data indicated a significant increase in mean scores for participants in the intervention group over those in the control group, suggesting that playing selected video games under specific circumstances can improve graduate skills.


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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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