Using Videogames as Educational Tools: Building Bridges Between Commercial and Serious Games

  • Pilar Lacasa
  • Laura Méndez
  • Rut Martínez
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control, and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 37)

This paper describes how a social simulation videogame (The Sims 2 Pets) was introduced into the classroom as a educational tool, and discusses the activities and conversations of the children, teachers and researchers involved. This study adopts a qualitative analytical perspective based on narrative and ethno graphic approaches and discourse analysis. Sixteen seven- to eight-year old children participated in the study. All the video recordings were segmented using Nudist 8.0 and Atlas.ti. The analysis allows us to delimit different phases according to the strategies that children and adults used to approach the game in the classroom con text. Our results show the strategies used by the adult to guide the children through a deductive reasoning process.


Video Game Virtual World Educational Tool Game Design Digital Literacy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Eddington, H., Addinall, E., & Percival, F. (1982). A handbook of game design. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  2. Frasca, G. (2004). Videogames of the oppressed: Critical thinking, education, tolerance, and other trivial issues. In N. Wardrip-Fruin & P. Harrigan (Eds.), First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (pp. 85 – 94). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Gee, J. P. (2007). Good video games + good learning. Collected essays on video games, learning and literacy. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  5. Jenkins, H. (2006). Game design as narrative architecture. In K. Salen & E. Zimmerman (Eds.), The game design reader: A rules of play Anthology (pp. 670 – 689). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Klopfer, E. (2008). Aumengted learning. Research. Reseach and design of mobile educational games. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Lacasa, P., Méndez, L., & Martínez, R. (2008). Developing new literacies using commercial videogames as educational tools. Linguistics & Education, 19, (2), 85 – 106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (Eds.). (2004). Rules of play. Game design fundamentals. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Willoughby, T., & Wood, E. (2008). Children's learning in a digital world. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlcalaAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Psicolog í a — UNED, Juan del RosalCiudad UniversitariaMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations