Mining Creativity: Video Game Creativity Learning Effects

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2017-01-01
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Blanco-Herrera, Jorge
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Douglas A. Gentile
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Psychology
The Department of Psychology may prepare students with a liberal study, or for work in academia or professional education for law or health-services. Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method to human behavior and mental processes, as well as have ample knowledge of psychological theory and method.
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Most psychological studies concerning the learning effects of video games have focused on action video games. These popular games emphasize quick-paced combat, narratives, player agency, and problem solving. Although many studies have focused on aggression or visual-spatial cognition effects from the quick-paced combat, the problem-solving aspects have been largely ignored. The present study seeks to expand the existing literature on video game effects by focusing on a rarely-tested outcome: creative production.

As a game with few rules and a high amount of player freedom, Minecraft exemplifies a game that fosters players’ abilities for creative expression. This experimental study compares the effect of playing Minecraft on creativity measures compared to watching a TV show (passive control), a driving game (game control), and playing Minecraft with specific instructions (an instructional control).

A within-subjects analysis (n=350) found a significant correlation between trait creativity and game play habits. Between-groups analyses showed that players randomly assigned to play Minecraft without instruction demonstrated significantly higher scores on post-game creativity measures compared to those who played Minecraft with instructions to “be creative,”, those who played a driving game, or those who watched a television show. Results indicate that effects are not solely predicted by game mechanics, but also by the way the player plays.

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Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017