New publication: A taxonomy approach to studying how gamers review games

Although most of my research has been focused on Twitter lately, I still have a foot in games and education, and some of my work there with Matt Koehler, Brian Arnold, Liz Owens Boltz, and George P. Burdell has just been published as online-first in Simulation & Gaming.

One of the main talking points for using games in education is that they’re—allegedly—more engaging and enjoyable than other ways of presenting information; however, it’s also commonly held that educational games aren’t as good as entertainment games. To help resolve this dilemma, we wanted to examine how players review entertainment games in order to see what features of the games they found most salient when judging their quality. Previous work has developed taxonomies of game features that can be tied to learning outcomes, so we put the theory to the test by seeing if the dimensions of one particular taxonomy were suitable for capturing the issues mentioned in player reviews from the gaming website VideoGameGeek.

We comment on our findings and on the implications for using game reviews as a data source in our article, which can be downloaded here!

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