Oxymoron of serious games in eLearning: gender differences from an internet-based survey in Thailand

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17 pages
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InProceeding of International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and E-learning in Budapest Hungary 2017 (IAC-TLEI 2017), Friday-Saturady, April 14-15, 2017 Czech Technical University in Prague, 6-17
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This research study examined gender attitudes towards playing serous games in eLearning contexts as there is a lack of comprehensive reports and academic commentary on how to apply and link serious games effectively to learning. The results were based on a large scale Internet-based survey, which involved 803 participants drawn from every region in Thailand. Sixtyone per cent of participants were females (61.2%) and the majority of them were teenagers and adult (36.8% and 24.1% respectively). The survey sought information on participants’ attitudes and behaviours related to their computer game preferences, game-playing habits and their attitudes to playing computer games. A 5-point Likert scale in comparing the two gender groups was used. The study addressed its core research question: what are the attitudes and behaviours of each gender group towards playing educational computer games? Sub questions were asked complementing the overall question and are elaborated upon in the text. The research results showed that participants chose both virtual game activity on the computer and actual activity in reality as their favourite activity on an equal basis (39.8%). The actual activity was slightly preferred rather than the virtual game (29.2% and 24.6% respectively). Almost half the participants chose only an entertaining computer game while a minority preferred to play educational computer games (49.2% and 15.1% respectively). Actually playing computer games generated both high levels of positive engagement and anxiety that were blended responses - as opposed to being separate. Computer games are played for their relaxation but increasing risks of eyestrain featured in this research. The research findings confirmed that females thought differently about playing computer games to their male counterparts.
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