Computer games have not only invaded the lives of children, but the lives of adults as well. Increasingly, computer games have become a part of popular culture. Initially computer games were considered to be a waste of time, time that could have been better spent doing more worthwhile activities such as studying and physical exercise. Recently, however, attitudes towards computer games have changed; teachers, parents and researchers have started to regard computer games as a possible educational resource. During this new information age it is possible that the children who are part of the Net generation have started to think and process information differently, and that they may have different educational needs. Some researchers think that computer games may serve as an educational tool to support their learning. This literature survey provides an overview of current literature on computer games and education. The review examines the aspects of computer games that support learning, such as motivational factors, social interaction and learning through doing. Further, the review studies the negative aspects that prevent games from being accepted as an educational tool such as the violence portrayed, game addiction, negative stereotyping and asocial behaviour. The Net generation is also examined. The review looks at their characteristics, thinking patterns, skills and their expectations of education. The review then serves as a basis to provide some guidelines for the selection and usage of computer games in the classroom.
Dissertation (MEd (Computer-Integrated Education))--University of Pretoria, 2008.