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Saturday, 29 April, 2000, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Video games 'valid learning tools'
Teenagers learn more from video games than they do from books, a survey suggests.
Research found youngsters learned more effectively from information presented in audiovisual form such as a video game than from facts on a printed page.
Sony PlayStation commissioned the study on 13 and 14-year-olds.
Psychologist Dr David Lewis, who carried out the study, discovered more than three-quarters absorbed facts contained in a historical video game as opposed to just more than half who were presented with the same information in written form.
Dr Lewis used MediEvil 2, a game set in Victorian times, to test the children.
He said: "I used MediEvil 2 because it is an exciting and dramatic game based on well-researched historical facts about Victorian London.
"In future it would be good to see specially designed educational video games that communicate factual information in an exciting and involving manner.
"These would be especially helpful to teenagers turned off by formal classroom teaching requiring a lot of reading.
"Modern teenagers are easily able to make sense of fast-moving images in a way that would probably leave their parents baffled.
"Today's teenagers can easily understand rapid cutting rates, jump cuts from one topic to another and also unusual visual perspective.
"Not only that, but they become far more involved with video games and enjoy the learning experience to a much greater extent than when studying similar topics from books or even video tapes."
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