Effects of Playing a History-Simulation Game: Romance of Three Kingdoms

Effects of Playing a History-Simulation Game: Romance of Three Kingdoms

Shiang-Kwei Wang (New York Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0029-4.ch008
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Abstract

Studies on game-based learning usually investigate at least one of three subjects: the effects of gaming on learning performance, the effects of gaming on cognitive skills and attitudes, and learners’ game-design experiences. Whether gaming relates positively to learning outcomes is still under investigation. This study examines the components contributing to the development of a literate game player and how players could cognitively grasp the design of a game scenario based on real history (namely, the game Romance of the Three Kingdoms). This study surveyed 497 participants in Taiwan on their knowledge of Chinese history (the Three Kingdoms period). The participants constituted two groups: participants who had years of gaming experience and participants who did not. The study examined test performance by using an independent sample t-test and one-way ANOVA and Pearson-correlation methods. The results revealed that the game players were more knowledgeable about the history of the Three Kingdoms period, had greater motivation to learn history, and were more motivated to learn history by playing the game than was the case with the non-game players.
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Purpose Of The Study

The effects of game-based learning on cognitive gains are still being investigated (Connolly, Stansfield, & Hainey, 2007; de Jong & van Joolingen, 1998; Washbush & Gosen, 2001). However, researchers who study game playing are nearly certain that the more frequently a player plays games, the more confident and the more fluent he or she will be in gaming (Bonanno & Kommers, 2008). So, would game players learn more about a subject if the game concerned real history and if knowledge of the history were part of the gaming literacy? To further explore whether a game concerning real history can affect players’ spontaneous motivation to learn and players’ knowledge of history, this study surveyed Taiwan game players familiar with a history-simulation game that is popular in Asia and that was developed by the Japanese KOEI company. The game is Romance of the Three Kingdoms (RTK). The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is any association between playing RTK and players’ knowledge of the events in this historical period, the part of the RTK gaming literacy.

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