Universitat de Girona (UdG) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 905-914
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
This paper focuses on video games and their educational possibilities (content, skills and values) in ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education – students between 11 and 17).

Since the 1970s, and continuing on into the present, there have been changes in the way society functions, mainly due to the technological revolution. Among them have been many changes that have introduced ICT into the educational system. This has led to studies and investigations, like this one, about its use in Education.

This study took place along the lines of research of the Research Group on Information and Communication Technologies in Education (GReTICE) of the UdG and within one of the projects currently under development, the CONTIENE project (Intelligent Content for Virtual Reality Applications, point of view and global illumination techniques, TIN2007-68066-C04-01) financed by EMED – Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) in the TIN - PN of Information Technology programme.

The results of the study are based on the analysis of two questionnaires given to three different groups, young students from ESO, their teachers and their parents or guardians, and focused on obtaining information concerning:

• personal data of those surveyed
• opinions of the video games
• video game habits (frequency, moment of the day, place, etc)
• the preferred type of video game (genre, platform, point of view, etc)
• the assessment of common aspects of the video games (graphics, interactivity, sound, etc)
• the feeling of learning using video games
• the use of video games in educational environments
• the evaluation of two of the main subjects: sexism and violence
• what they would like to find in new video games

The coincidences and discrepancies of the answers from the three survey groups lead to rich conclusions. Among the coincidences, we can highlight the high marks given to the educational characteristics of the video games and their possible use in schools.

The need to administer a second questionnaire has arisen as a result of the success that the Nintendo Wii console has had among the general population and new possibilities for interaction with the interface of the game. The questionnaire content (given to the same three groups as the first questionnaire) is focused on two aspects:

• the most appreciated interactive elements of the Nintendo Wii console
• gathering proposals for new functions that could be added to a video game console to increase interaction with an ideal, hypothetical video game

Combining the conclusions of the two questionnaires (the first one centred on video game contents and the second on ways of interacting with them), we obtain some clues to help us design and create new products that are attractive enough to motivate young learners and that combine enough educational aspects to be used in formal education.
innovation, technology, research projects, video game, education, interactivity.