Came across a paper today on the educational potential of Civilization IV. I’ve written on this topic before, but my report was anecdotal; Andrew Moshirnia tried it rather more rigorously with some high school students… read his paper here.
From the report:
“…Students in the experimental group showed significant growth after being exposed to the modified video game. This growth was not significantly altered by a pretest effect. Students in the experimental group felt that they had learned more than their test results indicated. Test items were knowledge-level items and students in the game group felt that they could attempt higher-order thinking questions. The growth for all groups was significant, but students who received information from lecture showed a significantly lower rate of knowledge retention than students who learned from the mod. This suggests that modified video games could not only improve comprehension, but also retention of knowledge-level items. Students learned more from information that was delivered through sprites. However, the small sample size of this study prevents generalization of results…”