University of Florence (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 4873-4882
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1279
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Introduction and theoretical background:
Students begin to experience video games at an early age. Research [1] show that 28.5% of primary school students play video games every day. Over the years, the use of digital game-based learning may become a supplementary aid at the university [2]. Literature suggests that there are two opposing views on the subject. Some specific areas taken into examination from the literature regarding damage caused by video game as perceived by paediatricians and parents that report an increase in aggressive and violent behaviour in children [3]. Moreover, many other contributions support the beneficial effects of video games like impulsivity and attentional control [4]. Therefore the gaming change perceptual and cognitive processing: action video game training enhances several aspects of vision, visual attention, sustained attention, impulsiveness, vigilance, cognitive flexibility, executive functioning, [5, pp. 56-57]. This has brought about positive support on behalf of the use of video games in education and in a special education, acknowledging the potential to optimize cognitive performance in health and disease.

Methodology and Results:
We asked a group of 196 undergraduate students enrolled in the University of Florence's Education course, to choose a video game, play with it and narrate their experience in an elaborate paper asking:
- Have you ever played video games?
- Select a video game of your choice, install it on your computer or smartphone and indicate what genre it belongs to.
- Start playing with the video game you have chosen and answer the following question: How does your cognitive experience characterize? What kind of cognitive processes do you put in place?
- Keep playing with the video game you've chosen and answer the following question: How does your emotional experience characterize? What kind of emotions do you feel?

Semantic analysis of the works collected and processed the data:
- 84% of students say they played video games. 24% say they have played little and only 3% say they have never played video games.
- The most chosen genre was the simulation game (39%) followed by puzzle games (29%) and action (11%)
- From a cognitive point of view, students say that the functions most involved are: attention (55%), problem solving (50%) memory (37%).
- Emotionally, the emotions aroused are above all: fun (47%), self-efficacy (35%), but also anger (21%), performance anxiety (16%) and frustration (14%).

[1] Ruzic-Baf, M., Strnak, H., & Debeljuh, A. (2016). Online video games and young people. International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 2(1), 94-103.
[2] Turner, P. E., Johnston, E., Kebritchi, M., Evans, S., & Heflich, D. A. (2018). Influence of online computer games on the academic achievement of nontraditional undergraduate students. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1437671.
[3] Bushman, B. J., Gollwitzer, M., & Cruz, C. (2015). There is broad consensus: Media researchers agree that violent media increase aggression in children, and pediatricians and parents concur. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 4(3), 200.
[4] Bavelier, D., Achtman, R. L., Mani, M., & Föcker, J. (2012). Neural bases of selective attention in action video game players. Vision research, 61, 132-143.
[5] Eichenbaum, A., Bavelier, D., & Green, C. S. (2014). Video games: Play that can do serious good. American Journal of Play, 7(1), 50-72.
Stereotypes, videogames, higher education.