Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Peterson, R, Verenikina, I and Herrington, J, Standards for educational, edutainment, and developmentally beneficial computer games, Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, Vienna, Austria, 3-4 June 2008.


The results of a comprehensive review of the body of research concerning the developmental and educational value of computer gaming for children is reported. Based on the review, design criteria are proposed for educational and edutainment computer games. In addition, a hierarchy of educational, edutainment, and entertainment game categories is introduced. It is argued that a standard educational labeling system is needed to assist parents and teachers with selecting computer games. A gap in the research is highlighted with regard to the affordances of computer games to facilitate the development of young children’s higher order thinking. It is recommended that further research be conducted to identify foundational educational theories for the design and assessment of games. And finally, it is argued that teachers need both training and encouragement to build the confidence required to guide computer game use.