We spoke with a video game designer and a neuropsychologist about how motivational elements of video games can be used to support student engagement.
An interview with François Boucher-Genesse, video game designer and co-founder of the Ululab studio in Montreal, and Alexandre Brzozowski, neuropsychologist and head of Serious Game Project for Hainaut Education, in Belgium.
From the outset, François Boucher-Genesse explains to us that his own time in school was a challenge because he felt little motivation. Later in his career, which took him to work on video game blockbusters such as Halo 3, he became interested in what makes a game so addicting to the gamer. He wanted to know if certain motivational elements could be used to support young people in their learning. Back on the school benches, he devoted his university master's degree to this aspect and began to develop video games especially with the aim of making learning more quickly and in a motivating way. This is how the first success of the Ululab studio, the application Slice Fractions (of which we have you already spoken here). Researchers have shown that this fun game allows students of 3e elementary year, after only 3 hours of play, to reach student level 4e year of elementary school in terms of understanding the concept of fraction.
For his part, Alexandre Brzozowski supports schools in Belgium, mainly at the secondary level, in the integration of digital tools within the Serious Game Project. He also takes a keen interest in the mechanics used in video games to keep players so engaged. He is convinced that this universe holds the keys to motivating young people who would otherwise possibly be dropping out of school. “At the behavioral level, we know that if there is something that“ goes through the door ”[in the learner], there is something…”.
If this topic interests you, you will also like our article on the topic in the fall issue of the École branchée magazine!
Produced with the support of Carrefour Éducation