Games are more powerful combined with paratexts. A 2011 examination of simulation games shows that the text surrounding games aids, when combined with the game, in improving student outcomes more than the game alone.
Action games enhance attentional control. A 2012 study demonstrates that games are even effective at training us how to learn and shapes our attention.
Games are great for language gains. The research even showed that the language acquisition didn’t even require that the game was a language game.
Reading gains are inherent to gaming, but choice is a key factor. If students were allowed choice in their in-game reading, the impact was more powerful than the game alone according to Steinkuhler’s own research.
Games are useful for overcoming bias and cognitive dissonance. The 2015 study demonstrates the power of games to overcome cognitive dissonance and reduce stereotypes.
Despite popular opinions, games promote learning and discourage negative behaviors. In fact, the study illustrates that regular game-play improved mental health as well as cognitive and social skills.
Games in research don’t reflect games in the market. Sadly a forthcoming study shows that game makers and game researchers often have a disconnect in studying what is being created and creating what studies show is best. We can do better.