Preservice Teachers Building Video Games

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Abstract

In this exploratory study 166 pre-service teachers each constructed a video game of their choice using the Scratch development environment. The pre-service teachers, 64% male and 36% female, had no previous video game creation experience and self-selected into an elective educational technology course that included this game construction activity. Data collected included the 166 games (7% educational and 93% entertainment) and survey information on previous game playing and social media experience. The 166 games were classified into nine genre categories, identified from the literature and their differences compared. The games were also analyzed with respect to gender and previous time spent playing games and using social media. Results indicate a significant difference between males and females on previous time spent game playing across different age ranges (males played more); interestingly the significant relationship is quadratic; meaning, both males and females reported playing less in grades 1-6 and university, but more in grades 7-9 and high school. There were no differences with respect to social media. Overall, pre-service teachers are significantly more likely to construct action games with non-violent genres. When gender is a factor, males are significantly more likely to create violent action games.