Can video gameplay improve undergraduates’ problem-solving skills?

Benjamin Emihovich, Nelson Roque, Justin Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this study, the authors investigated if two distinct types of video gameplay improved undergraduates’ problem-solving skills. Two groups of student participants were recruited to play either a roleplaying video game (World of Warcraft; experimental group) or a brain-training video game (CogniFit; control group). Participants were measured on their problem-solving skills before and after 20 hours of video gameplay. Two measures were used to assess problem-solving skills for this study, the Tower of Hanoi and The PISA Problem Solving Test. The Tower of Hanoi measured the rule application component of problem-solving skills and the PISA Problem Solving test measured transfer of problem-solving skills from video gameplay to novel scenarios on the test. No significant differences were found between the two groups on either problem-solving measure. Implications for future studies on game-based learning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Game-Based Learning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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