Video Games in Literacy Journals: A Systematic Review

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Video Games in Literacy Journals: A Systematic Review
Stream: Design, Implementation & Assessment of Innovative Technologies in Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Sam Von Gillern, University of Missouri, United States
Hillary Gould, University of Missouri, United States
Brady Nash, Miami University, United States


Reviews of game-based learning research demonstrate that digital games can lead to substantial learning outcomes in a variety of disciplines (Wouters et al., 2013). A contributing factor to positive learning outcomes in game-based learning is that digital games can promote student motivation (Clark et al., 2016), a factor that influences learning (Hattie, 2009). However, existing research reviews largely focus on content areas such as mathematics (Tokac et al., 2019) or second language acquisition (Chen et al., 2018). Thus, this research contributes to the literature by utilizing a systematic review methodology (Khan et al., 2003), which was guided by the following research question: What literature on video games exists in literacy journals? 13 literacy journals were included in the search, which included publications between 2000 and 2020. 32 studies that focused primarily on video games were included in the study, 15 of the articles focused on entertainment games and 17 on serious/educational games. The 15 articles that focused on entertainment games explored how children can engage with various literacy practices through both playing games, exploring game narratives, and engaging in game-related activities, such as discussing, writing, and creating videos about games, such as Pokémon GO, Minecraft, and The Last of Us. The 17 articles that focused on serious/educational games focused largely on helping students develop basic literacy skills such as spelling, phonics, and word knowledge. Games explored in these articles included Living Letters, GraphoGame Phoneme, and Reading Race. Further analyses and greater detail will be provided at the presentation.

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