Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

French

Major Professor

Sebastien Dubreil

Committee Members

John Romeiser, Ron Taylor, Awa Sarr

Abstract

There is no doubt that the video game industry is undergoing a major upheaval, yet in spite of the recent reconceptualization of video games, educational games as a whole remain the pariah of the industry. Very little has been done in the wake of recent social and industry trends to adapt instruction of academic subjects, especially foreign language, for delivery through video games. Prior studies discussing the potential of games developed specifically for language learning have focused primarily on general principles and have offered no recommendations for platform, genre, or other aspects of design. Through an online survey as well as qualitative analysis of gaming forum discussions and student evaluations of an existing educational language game, this study goes straight to the learners and players themselves in order to determine the opinions and behavioral intentions of potential customers. By synthesizing these insights into consumer demand with theory and industry trends, this study argues that mobile or casual games that are intrinsically social and communicative hold the most potential for success, both in academia and in the industry.

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