Developing Decision-Making Skill: Experiential Learning in Computer Games

Developing Decision-Making Skill: Experiential Learning in Computer Games

Kurt A. April (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Breakwater Campus: Greenpoint, Cape Town, South Africa), Katja M. J. Goebel (Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Breakwater Campus: Greenpoint, Cape Town, South Africa), Eddie Blass (Business School, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorne, VIC, Australia) and Jonathan Foster-Pedley (Henley Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jissc.2012100101

Abstract

This paper explores the value that computer and video games bring to learning and leadership and explores how games work as learning environments and the impact they have on personal development. The study looks at decisiveness, decision-making ability and styles, and on how this leadership-related skill is learnt through different paradigms. The paper compares the learning from a lecture to the learning from a designed computer game, both of which have the same content through the use of a spot test, taken immediately after the lecture and the game, and seven day retest scores. It also presents data collected and evaluated on decision-making from three distinct groups: executives (including entrepreneurs), gamers and non-gamers.
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Literature Review

With the average massively multi-player online game player spending more than 20 hours per week in the game (Yee, 2006), games seem to have ever more profound effects on individuals: they also teach lessons in leadership. In their ground-breaking study into the opinions and values of gamers, Beck and Wade (2004a, p. 3) found that gamers have the potential to become great leaders through the continuous seeking of opportunity and improvement. Most early academic research, though, focused on possible negative effects, like social isolation, or the reduction of inhibitions and resulting increase in violent behaviours. Sherman (as cited in Beck & Wade, 2004b) points out, however, that following the introduction of violent electronic games in the U.S., a significant reduction in juvenile violence occurred and newer research has shown the positive learning effects that games have.

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