New publication: A taxonomy approach to studying how gamers review games

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source:  Spencer Greenhalgh

Although most of my research has been focused on Twitter lately, I still have a foot in games and education, and some of my work there with Matt Koehler, Brian Arnold, Liz Owens Boltz, and George P. Burdell has just been published as online-first in Simulation & Gaming.

One of the main talking points for using games in education is that they’re—allegedly—more engaging and enjoyable than other ways of presenting information; however, it’s also commonly held that educational games aren’t as good as entertainment games. To help resolve this dilemma, we wanted to examine how players review entertainment games in order to see what features of the games they found most salient when judging their quality. Previous work has developed taxonomies of game features that can be tied to learning outcomes, so we put the theory to the test by seeing if the dimensions of one particular taxonomy were suitable for capturing the issues mentioned in player reviews from the gaming website VideoGameGeek.

We comment on our findings and on the implications for using game reviews as a data source in our article, which can be downloaded here!

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.