An investigation of cognitive processes engaged in by recreational computer game players: Implications for skills of the future

Pillay, Hitendra K. (2002) An investigation of cognitive processes engaged in by recreational computer game players: Implications for skills of the future. Journal of Research on Technology in Education (formerly Journal of Research on Computing in Education), 34(3), pp. 336-350.

[img] PDF (325kB)
Administrators only


This exploratory study investigated the influence of two recreational computer games on children's subsequent performance on computer-based instructional tasks. Children were assigned to three groups: two were invited to play their respective recreational computer games, and the third acted as a control group. All three groups then worked on a common set of educational tasks from environmental education software. The three groups' performances on a set of educational tasks were compared using quantitative analysis for speed and correct solutions, and then qualitatively for the cognitive manoeuvres engaged in to accomplish the tasks. The findings suggest that playing recreational computer games may influence children's performance on subsequent computer-based educational tasks. However, the extent of this influence depended on how closely the recreational computer game types matched the design of the tasks in the educational software. The cognitive manoeuvres used by game players also depended on the types of games played during the learning phase. Linear cause-and-effect games tended to encourage means-end analysis strategy, whereas adventure games encouraged inferential and proactive thinking. Though the findings of this study are encouraging, further studies need to be undertaken to replicate the results.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 10069
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: cognition, computer games, educational technology, thinking
ISSN: 1539-1523
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Deposited On: 10 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:47

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page