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Game-based learning in Second Life. Do gender and age make a difference?

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New learning technologies have changed the way teaching and learning is delivered. One of the technologies that offers great potential in helping to motivate and engage students is game-based learning. Social virtual worlds offer rich interactive three-dimensional collaborative spaces where users can meet and interact. One example of such an environment is Second Life (; henceforth Second Life). This article provides an overview of a recent trial carried out at Imperial College London aimed to explore gender-related attitudes towards game-based learning in Second Life. This article also draws on three recent studies to furthermore explore gender-related issues in computer and video game play. We here argue that the gender gap in gaming and learning is becoming less analytically significant, and in conjunction with this that game experiences have to be viewed from a more inclusive perspective in regard to game genre, gender and age.
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Keywords: Second Life; games; gender; medicine; virtual patients; virtual worlds

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Imperial College London, UK. 2: Lule University of Technology, Sweden.

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • The Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds focuses on theoretical and applied, empirical, critical, rhetorical, creative, economic and professional approaches to the study of electronic games across platforms and genres as well as ludic and serious online environments.
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