According to a new research from the University of Glasgow, playing video games for a responsible number of hours can actually help rather than impose on academics. The study claims that such an activity can develop or improve the so-called “graduate attributes”.
Research was led by Matthew Barr, an Information Studies lecturer, and the results are available in Computers & Education.
Playing Video Games Can Help Develop Academic and Employability Skills
This new, randomized trial saw the participation of 36 undergraduates in Arts and Humanities. Some of the students were asked to be part of the control group. The others had to log in game hours, spread over eight weeks. These did not have to be all accomplished in the same day or on a set timeframe.
Instead, the research left the time management be the students’ responsibility only. To ensure this, the study offered game labs, open in between specific hours on particular days, on a drop-in basis. Participants were only asked to try and log in 120 minutes of gameplay on most of the offered video games. These added to just about 14 hours of play, in total.
The chosen games were commercial titles, and not ones specifically targeted at learning or skill development. They included Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Reign of Chaos, Gone Home, Minecraft, Warcraft III, and others.
“The findings suggest that such game-based learning interventions have a role to play in higher education. The way games are designed often encourages critical thinking and reflective learning, commonly cited as desirable attributes in graduates,” states Barr.
He points out that most modern video games require a high level of adaptability and resourcefulness. Players also have to find multiple or varied ways of accomplishing a task. The so-called “graduate attributes” include such elements as ‘generic skills’ or as resourcefulness and adaptability.
They also presuppose problem solving and communication abilities. All these factors are considered desirable for students and graduates, particularly those trying to enter the employment market.
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