Cracking the Code of Electronic Games — — Readability

Educators who observe students playing electronic games commonly witness a rapid discovery of rules and principles, quick understanding of the range of their applicability, and the development and application of a further range of skills that includes quick discrimination of elements on the basis of small cues, precise analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, and sound deductions (Aguilera & Méndiz, 2003; Gredler, 2001; Kirriemuir & McFarlane, 2004; Ko, 2002; Mitchell & Savill-Smith, 2004; Moreno & Mayer, 2007; Rieber, 2005). In addition, educators often see energetic and active learning or a form of intrinsic motivation that leads players to spend hundreds of hours playing with games (Cox, 2001; Malone, 1981). That is, a little ambivalently and often reluctantly, educators see the holy grail of learning—imaginative engagement, persistence, sustained interest, frequent collaboration, and other elements widely accepted as prerequisites of effective learning all working together. Not surprisingly, there is growing interest in studying electronic games, with the aim of trying to work out how learning principles that are evident in games can be harnessed to make everyday academic learning more engaging and productive (Becta, 2001; Gee, 2003; Griffiths, Davies, & Chappell, 2003; Kirriemuir, 2002; Squire, 2003).