Effects of commercial video games on cognitive elaboration of physical concepts

Chuen-Tsai Sun, Shu Hao Ye*, Yu Ju Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The authors use physical concepts to investigate cognitive elaboration using a commercial game-based review teaching method versus a lecture-based method. Experiments involved two popular casual games: Cut the Rope (pendulum concept) and Angry Bird Space (circular motion), with concept maps and multiple-choice tests used as assessment tools. Our goal was to analyze concept reinforcement and reorganization via commercial games for a group of junior high school students. A total of 83 students (15-16 years old), were randomly assigned to an experimental group (review using commercial casual games) or a control group (lecture-based review). Our results suggest that (a) the games supported the elaboration potential of learned physical concepts as measured by concept maps, and (b) concept maps are more suitable than multiple-choice tests for estimating the effects of commercial games on cognitive elaboration. Three key design features of commercial games that can support cognitive elaboration of physical concepts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-181
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - 8 Jun 2015


  • Applications in subject areas
  • Evaluation methodologies
  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Media in education
  • Teaching/learning strategies

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