University of Limerick
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Towards an appreciation of the place and potential of computer games in education

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posted on 2022-12-15, 15:38 authored by John Maher
Our objective was to investigate computer games to assess their educational potential. We came to the view that it would serve best to identify cultural, ideological, and pragmatic concerns that could present obstacles to the introduction of games into the classroom. Therefore, the focus of our research changed in character from a theoretical to a pragmatically informed basis. Given the relative youth of the field that constitutes educational games research, we set about creating an overview of the field in order to establish a semblance of direction towards the production of viable games. To complement the prevalent view that games might be successful because of their motivational qualities we proposed a balancing principle that alternative views had also to be countenanced. We took the position that because computer games as entertainment were self‐motivating it did not necessarily follow that similar motivational factors could be relied on for application in education. We therefore analysed the positivistic bias we had identified as problematic because it did not seem to anticipate the possibilities of counter reaction and resistance from the students who were expected to learn with educational games and the teachers who would be expected to implement them.



  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Murray, Liam





Department or School

  • Scoil na Gaeilge, an Bhéarla, agus na Cumarsáide | School of English, Irish, and Communication

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