Intrinsic fantasy: motivation and affect in educational games made by children

HABGOOD, M P Jacob, AINSWORTH, Shaaron and BENFORD, Steve (2005). Intrinsic fantasy: motivation and affect in educational games made by children. In: 2005 AIED workshop on motivation and affect in educational software, Amsterdam.


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The concept of intrinsic fantasy has been considered central to the aim of usefully applying the positive affect of computer games to learning. Games with intrinsic fantasy are defined as having “an integral and continuing relationship with the instructional content being presented”, and are claimed as “more interesting and more educational” than extrinsic fantasy games [1]. Studies of children making educational games have shown they usually create extrinsic games for curriculum learning content. In this study, children were encouraged to create non-curriculum games, more easily distanced from the extrinsic preconceptions of formal schooling. Forty, 7-11 year olds took part in this study (17 boys and 23 girls), designing and making their own games at an after-school club. Despite non-curriculum learning content, no more intrinsic games were created than in previous studies. The children failed to create their own pedagogical models for non-curriculum content and did not see the educational value of intrinsic fantasy games. The implications for transfer and learning in intrinsic games are discussed whilst the definition of intrinsic fantasy itself is questioned. It is argued that the integral relationship of fantasy is unlikely to be the most critical means of improving the educational effectiveness of digital games.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Jacob Habgood
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2011 15:06
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:07

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