Exploring factors related to college student expertise in digital games and their relationships to academics

Open access

Abstract

Digital game play is a common pastime among college students and monopolizes a great deal of time for many students. Researchers have previously investigated relationships between subject-specific game play and academics, but this study fulfills a need for research focusing on entertainment game strategies and how they relate to strategies and success in other contexts. Utilizing a survey of 191 undergraduate students, the goal was to investigate students’ digital game play habits, strategies, and beliefs that predict gaming expertise, and to determine if these relate to academic success. Factor analysis revealed three latent variables that predict expertise: dedication, solo mastery, and strategic play. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine whether these three components could also predict academic outcome variables. Findings point to the absence of a relationship between these variables and academic GPA, but to the presence of a tentative relationship between confidence in game play and confidence in personal control over academic success.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abdi H. (2003). Factor rotations in factor analysis. Encyclopedia of Sciences and Social Methods 1-8. Retrieved June 2 2016 from http://ftp.utdallas.edu/~herve/Abdi-rotations-pretty.pdf.

  • Adachi P. J. C. & Willoughby T. (2013). More than just fun and games: The longitudinal relationships between strategic video games self-reported problem solving skills and academic grades. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 42(7) 1041-1052.

  • Blumberg F. C. Altschuler E. A. Almonte D. E. & Mileaf M. (2013). The impact of recreational video game play on children’s and adolescents’ cognition. New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development 139 41-50.

  • Bodill K. & Roberts L. D. (2013). Implicit theories of intelligence and academic locus of control as predictors of studying behaviour. Learning & Individual Differences 27 163-166.

  • Chamorro-Premuzic T. & Furnham A. (2003). Personality predicts academic performance: Evidence from two longitudinal university samples. Journal of Research in Personality 37(4) 319.

  • Cheng M.-T. & Annetta L. (2012). Students’ learning outcomes and learning experiences through playing a serious educational game. Journal of Biological Education 46(4) 203-213.

  • Costello A. B. & Osborne J. W. (2005). Best practices in exploratory factor analysis: Four recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical Assessment Research and Evaluation 10(7) 1-9.

  • Duckworth A. L. Peterson C. Matthews M. D. & Kelly D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92 1087-1101.

  • Engelhardt C. R. Hilgard J. & Bartholow B. D. (2015). Acute exposure to difficult (but not violent) video games dysregulates cognitive control. Computers in Human Behavior 45 85-92.

  • Ericsson K. A. Krampe R. T. & Tesch-Römer C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review 100(3) 363-406.

  • Gentile D. A. Lynch P. J. Linder J. R. & Walsh D. A. (2004). The effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility aggressive behaviors and school performance. Journal of Adolescence 27(1) 5-22.

  • Granic I. Lobel A. & Engels R.C. (2013). The benefits of playing video games. American Psychologist 69(1) 66–78.

  • Habing B. (2003). Exploratory Factor Analysis. Tech. report. University of South Carolina. Accessed March 10 2016 at http://people.stat.sc.edu/habing/courses/530EFA.pdf.

  • Hambrick D.Z. Oswald F. L. Altmann E. M. Meinz E. J. Gobet F. & Campitelli G. (2014). Deliberate practice: Is that all it takes to become an expert? Intelligence 45 34-45.

  • Hancock F. (2010). Social problem solving and the video game player. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning 447-453.

  • Harrington B. & O’Connell M. (2016). Video games as virtual teachers: Prosocial video game use by children and adolescents from different socioeconomic groups is associated with increased empathy and prosocial behaviour. Computers in Human Behavior 63 650-658.

  • Hatcher L. (1994). A Step-by-Step Approach to Using the SAS System for Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling. Cary NC: SAS Institute Inc.

  • Kaiser H. F. (1960). The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement 20 141-151.

  • Koo D.-M. (2009). The moderating role of locus of control on the links between experiential motives and intention to play online games. Computers in Human Behavior 25 466-474.

  • Kulasegaram K. M. Grierson L. & Norman G. R. (2013). The roles of deliberate practice and innate ability in developing expertise: Evidence and implications. Medical Education 47(10) 979-989.

  • Lenhart A. Jones S. & MacGill A. R. (2008). Pew Internet Project Memo 2008. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Accessed May 5 2016 http://www.pewinternet.org/files/oldmedia/Files/Reports/2008/PIP_Adult_gaming_memo.pdf.pdf.

  • Pintrich P. R. Smith D. A. F. Garcia T. & McKeachie W. J. (1991). A Manual for the use of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning.

  • Przybylski A. K. Ryan R. M. & Rigby C. S. (2009). The motivating role of violence in video games. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 35(2) 243-259.

  • Ream G. L. Elliott L. C. & Dunlap E. (2013). A genre-specific investigation of video game engagement and problem play in the early life course. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy 6 8-28.

  • Ritzhaupt A. Higgins H. & Allred B. (2011). Effects of modern educational game play on attitudes self-efficacy and Mathematics achievement. Journal of Interactive Learning Research 22(2) 277-297.

  • Squire K. D. DeVane B. & Durga S. (2008). Designing centers of expertise for academic learning through video games. Theory Into Practice 47(3) 240-251.

  • Tabachnick B. G. & Fidell L. S. (2013). Using Multivariate Statistics 2nd Ed. Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

  • Wolters C. A. & Hussain M. (2015). Investigating grit and its relations with college students’ academic achievement. Metacognition and Learning 10(3) 293-311.

  • Worth N. C. & Book A. S. (2015). Dimensions of video game behavior and their relationships with personality. Computers in Human Behavior 50 132-140.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 353 161 9
PDF Downloads 201 99 8