Investigating the impact of gaming habits, gender, and age on the effectiveness of an educational video game: An exploratory study

Javier Torrente, Clara Fernandez-Vara, Borja Manero, Baltasar Fernández-Manjón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examines the influence of players’ age, gender, and gaming preferences and habits (from now on, “gaming preferences”) on the effectiveness of a specific videogame that has been designed to increase the interest towards classical theater among teenagers. Using a validated instrument, participants were divided into four groups based on their gaming preferences: (1) Wellrounded (WR) gamers, who play all types of games often; (2) Hardcore players, who frequently tend to play first-person shooter (FPS) and sports games; (3) Casual players, who play moderately and tend to play music, social, and puzzle games; and (4) Non-gamers, who barely play videogames at all. Among all of the participants’ personal factors (age, gender, and type of player) that were measured, only gaming preferences seemed to have a significant (p<.05) positive influence on students’ interest in theater-going. Neither age nor gender seemed to affect the outcomes. Casual and Well-rounded gamers scored higher in the game than Non-gamers and Hardcore players. Due to these results, we also explored whether the gaming profile affected traditional educational approaches. Traditional education worked better than videogames only for students who do not usually play videogames. This study suggests that gaming preferences may influence the effectiveness of different educational approaches. Knowing students’ gaming preferences in advance may help educators find the best educational approach for each student.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-246
JournalIEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer uses in education
  • computers and society
  • learning technologies
  • educational videogames
  • applied games
  • digital humanities
  • videogames on arts


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