Intercultural Perspective on Impact of Video Games on Players: Insights from a Systematic Review of Recent Literature

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Elena Shliakhovchuk
Adolfo Muñoz García

Keywords

video games • intercultural skills • digital game-based learning • impact of video games • educational technology

Abstract

The video-game industry has become a significant force in the business and entertainment world. Video games have become so widespread and pervasive that they are now considered a part of the mass media, a common method of storytelling and representation. Despite the massive popularity of video games, their increasing variety, and the diversification of the player base, until very recently little attention was devoted to understanding how playing video games affects the way people think and collaborate across cultures. This paper examines the recent literature regarding the impact of video games on players from an intercultural perspective. Sixty-two studies are identified whose aim is to analyze behavioral-change, content understanding, knowledge acquisition, and perceptional impacts. Their findings suggest that video games have the potential to help to acquire cultural knowledge and develop intercultural literacy, socio-cultural literacy, cultural awareness, self-awareness, and the cultural understanding of different geopolitical spaces, to reinforce or weaken stereotypes, and to some extent also facilitate the development of intercultural skills. The paper provides valuable insights to the scholars, teachers, and practitioners of cultural studies, education, social studies, as well as to the researchers, pointing out areas for future research.

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