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Learning to kill? Taking aim with the first-person shooter.

O’Brien, W., 2021. Learning to kill? Taking aim with the first-person shooter. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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O’BRIEN, Wayne_Ed.D._2020.pdf



Academic debates about the ‘effects’ of playing video games have been ongoing for several decades. By investigating the learning potential of first-person shooter games from the Call of Duty franchise this study gives fresh stimulus to the area of video games as tools for facilitating learning. Some games attract the label ‘serious’, replicating pre-existing notions of high culture and popular culture: this thesis rejects this tendency towards canonisation and focuses on how a popular gaming franchise can become the site for a wide range of learning opportunities. This project has undertaken research with three different research cohorts and the ensuing research data enables a claim that the Call of Duty games franchise is a powerful force for learning. Focus groups and interviews have been conducted with a range of participants to discuss their views of how the games may facilitate learning; how gaming metaculture may assist in this process and queries the potential for ideological transference from games to player. A questionnaire was also completed by different participants to cross-check data validity. The research findings all flow in the same direction: playing Call of Duty games is an aid to players learning strategic and tactical thinking skills. This happens through the scaffolding offered in-game, the quantity and range of different feedback points and through engagement with different aspects of gaming metaculture. These in-game and extratextual features combine to shape a formidable learning tool which takes players on a journey towards becoming model learners. Demonstrating that video games are learning tools is a good thing in itself. However, with the substantial shift to online delivery of education at all levels around the world in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, this project provides a very timely insight into the capacity of video games to provide thorough learning opportunities.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:video game; digital games; learning; literacy; strategic; tactical; ideological; metaculture; education; skills; online learning
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:35263
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:11 Mar 2021 13:55
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:26


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