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Casting Magic Missile: The Effect of Role-Playing Video Games on Creative Thinking Open Access

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Video games are currently a hot topic in educational research. There are studies on almost every aspect of their production and consumption in various stages of completion, yet their effect on creative thinking has not been fully explored. The objective of this study is to show that there is a connection between digital role-playing games (RPGs) and the creative thinking skills students are learning while playing them. How those skills are used outside of the game world is also explored. The study consists of a 10 question survey completed by 97 high school boys and 6 qualitative interviews with the same population. Existing research in the fields of creativity, games and role-playing games, identity, visual culture and art education is examined. Researchers and experts studied include James Paul Gee, Jane McGonigal, Sir Ken Robinson, David Williamson Shaffer and Linda Jackson. This study found that while strong evidence exists to tie DRPGs to creative thinking skills a definitive conclusion was not possible within the scope of the study. The results however appear to support the conclusions of previous research into games and creative thinking. Many correlations between the skills learned from gaming and the skills that support creative thinking were also found. The study includes a discussion on the domain generality of creativity and the argument's impact on art education. The recommendation of this researcher is that a larger, more in-depth study is necessary in order to reach a firm conclusion on this thesis topic.

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