Game Education

As of Fall 2008: We are very excited to have Dr. William Watson and the Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments housed within the College of Education!  The center is located in BRNG 3292.  The web site can be found here:

The Education IT team believes that “Video Games” or “Electronic Games” are an important topic for educatonal researchers to investigate.  There are important unanswered questions such as: How are video games impacting the learning experience and cognitive abilities of learners?  How is attention span affected?  How is brain development affected?  How is physical health affected?  How are reading and vocabulary skills affected?

This topic is “huge” in our society right now. Perhaps you are isolated from electronic games and do not see “what all the fuss is about”. Yet, we can almost guarantee that a learner in your circle of family and friends is being influenced by electronic games. You may even know researchers at other institutions who are researching “Game Education”. The gaming industry is large and growing. In 2003 and 2004 video games were a 10 billion dollar industry.  In 2005 that rose to 10.5 billion. One statistic shows that 75% of heads of households play video games and 44% of video game players are female. See, 

Video Game Essential Facts (a readable and interesting document) (PDF) 

On one hand, electronic games catch the attention of learners, even those with attention deficit problems, and are shown to increase reading comprehension, eye-hand coordination, and team work.  On the other hand, some have connected electronic gaming with obesity, seizures, anxiety, and violence. 

We encourage researchers to embrace this important topic. 

Below are some enlightening news stories… 


Several contests for the creation of computer games focus on social causes and other notions beyond simple entertainment. The Reinventing Public Diplomacy Through Games Competition, sponsored by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and the U.S. State Department, will award $5,000 to the developers of the game that best uses the concept of “public diplomacy” to boost the reputation of the United States in countries around the world. John Seely Brown, former chief scientist at Xerox and one of the judges of the contest, noted, “All types of explicit and collateral learning can take place through games.” Meanwhile, the Darfur Digital Activist competition solicited games that highlight the genocide in Sudan. Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU, said the competition, which is sponsored by the mtvU network, can teach players about an issue that is not generally covered by news media in the United States. In that competition, the field has been narrowed to three finalist submissions–from Carnegie Mellon University, USC, and Digipen Institute of Technology–which are being tested by players to determine the eventual winner.

Wired News, 27 March 2006,70443-0.html 

Web sites related to video gaming: 

Digital Game-Based Learning: It’s Not Just the Digital Natives Who Are Restless

What Kids Learn That’s POSITIVE From Playing Video Games  

Effects of Video Games on Aggressive Thoughts and Behaviors During Development  

Implications of Online Gaming  

Electronic Games and Childhood Obesity 

Problem-solving games on the rise 

‘Serious’ Video Games for Education, Activism (NPR Audio)  

Women’s Game Conference: A Positive Step Forward  

The Education Arcade is committed to research and development projects that drive innovation in educational computer and video games 

Still Missing the Link,1,4355502.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews  

‘Desperate Housewives’ inspires video game 

Video games are for kids, right? 

Some video games are for kids. Some aren’t.

Public enemy No. 1 

Video game therapy – a new frontier  

Studies are being carried out on college campuses around the country to try and determine the prevalence of gaming addictions.  

Researchers tout positive effects of video games  

Video Game Violence and Public Policy, David Walsh, Ph.D.  

CDC to Examine Effect of Video Games on Children  

Bill calls for study of media impact on youth 

Senate panel OKs video game study  

Lieberman, Clinton Introduce CDC Game Investigation Bill  

“They might be more interested in reaching the next level of a video game than finding the source of the neighborhood creek” 

Senators Lieberman, Brownback, Clinton, and Santorum Announce Key Senate Committee Approves Legislation to Study Impact of Media on Children 

A bill to limit the exposure of children to violent video games  

Video game legislation well-intentioned, but flawed 

New training video game helps fight the war on substance abuse 

State colleges featured in new XBox 360 video game 

Video Game Legislation Hot Topic in U.S. 

Police fight back against video game, Violence against officers cited

Thank you!  🙂

The Education IT Team