Title: Gen Zers' video game preferences and learning outcomes: toward designing better games

Authors: Elena Shliakhovchuk; Rostislav Oliynyk; Adolfo Muñoz García

Addresses: The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Valencia, Spain ' Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, Kyiv, Ukraine ' The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Valencia, Spain

Abstract: This study presents the results of a survey consisting of broad, mostly open-ended questions concerning the video game preferences of Generation Z gamers and casual players (N = 427). One of our aims was to gain relevant insights into the gaming preferences of Generation Z players and to describe what they find appealing in AAA entertainment games. In particular, this study revealed the video game genres, characters, and in-game elements and features that Gen Zers find attractive both in general and by gender. Our study also explored the genres, characters, in-game elements, and features that Gen Zers miss and are looking for in future games. Understanding the preferences of Gen Z players allows game designers, especially designers of educational and serious games dealing with current global and social issues, to make inferences about the Generation Z's preferred game features and thus better personalise gameplay. Our findings also confirmed that video games are both fun and educational: our respondents indicated that they learned and reinforced knowledge about the English language, the basics of informatics, strategic thinking, geography and history, teamwork, cultural knowledge, perspective change, and creativity during video gameplay.

Keywords: generation Z; video game preference; educational technology; non-formal education; survey; digital natives; video game design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2021.114075

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2021 Vol.13 No.2, pp.208 - 236

Received: 25 Feb 2019
Accepted: 17 Feb 2020

Published online: 08 Apr 2021 *

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