Exemplary Dimensions of Video Games

Video games provide a unique context through which the GLM can be applied in order to foster learning. Games have become increasingly complex and have incorporated a number of mechanisms relevant to learning, such as varying difficulty levels, reinforcement schedules, paired associations, and specific training modules. Gentile and Gentile (2008) listed seven exemplary dimensions of video game play that illustrate the use of educational principles and learning theories to effectively teach players, which we abridge here.

Pace Matching

Some evidence suggests that for students at the top third of their class, the average learning rate is at least three times that of students in the bottom third (Gentile & Lalley, 2003; Gentile, Voelkl, Mt. Pleasant, & Monaco, 1995). Video games are carefully crafted by developers to ensure that players coming from a spectrum of expertise are able to engage with the game. The flexibility of a digitally crafted universe provides a context through which developers have a capacity to ensure a matching of objective and pace to the individual differences of each learner. This task is arguably a more difficult task in real-world contexts, in which teachers frequently must design course curricula for “batches” of students with varying needs for instructional pace.

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