How Can Wii Learn From Video Games?: Examining Relationships between Technological Affordances and Socio-Cognitive Determinates on Affective and Behavioral Outcomes

How Can Wii Learn From Video Games?: Examining Relationships between Technological Affordances and Socio-Cognitive Determinates on Affective and Behavioral Outcomes

Edward Downs (Department of Communication, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN, USA) and Mary Beth Oliver (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJGCMS.2016010103
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Motion controlling technology allows game players to interact with video games using kinesthetic body motions that replicate real-world activities. A 2x2 fully crossed, between-subjects experiment, plus control group was designed to empirically test how the type of controller (motion controller vs. symbolic controller) and avatar customization (customized vs. not customized) contributed to affective and behavioral responses when playing the Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game. Findings indicated that using the motion controller led to better video game performance, in addition to better performance in a real-world putting task. Further, use of the motion controller led to greater perceptions of golf efficacy (indirectly through presence), and was positively correlated with liking of the video game, which in turn led to greater perceptions of liking of the game of golf. Theoretical and practical implications for these findings are discussed.
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Of the work that has been done examining video games and learning, most research has focused on outcome potential. Studies on video games have demonstrated that game play can improve spatial rotation skills (De Lisi & Wolford, 2002), math ability (Corbett, Koedinger, & Hadley, 2001), language development (Jordan, 1992), and even the ability to successfully and safely complete laparoscopic surgery (Rosser et al., 2007). In addition, educators recognize the positive impact that interactive video games have in improving motor abilities, agility, and core strength (Trout & Christie, 2007). Video games have also been used to teach athletes (Liebermann, Katz, Hughes, Bartlett, McClements, & Franks, 2002). Research has shown that success in a golf computer game transferred into successful golf putting abilities in real life (Fery & Ponserre, 2001).

Although extant research suggests that video games are promising in terms of learning potential, some scholars (ex. Lee & Peng, 2006) suggest that future research needs to look beyond simple outcome measures to identify processes that combine form, user experience, content, and other mediating variables to further our understanding of how technology use relates to learning. The following paragraphs will use social cognitive theory to anchor a study that examines how technological affordances (specifically, customization and use of a motion controller) impacts behavioral learning using a popular golf video game. A path model will be tested and revised and results will be discussed in terms of theory and future research.

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