The scholarly article “Applying Developmental Theory and Research to the Creation of Educational Games” in the New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development introduces the history of the developmental theory and principles applied to software for children, which was first made by Seymour Papert. Papert used the approach to modern learning environments, stating that learning is best when the student practically creates something in the digital world (Revelle, 2013).
The next section of the article discusses Child Development and Interface Design, theorizing that the interface can either help or impede gameplay because of evolving motor and cognitive skills. The use of a mouse was said to have a diversified effect on children of various ages, affecting target re-entry accuracy, performance, and frequency due to developing cognitive and motor skills (Revelle, 2013). Alternative input devices were also discussed on the matter of their effects on children’s developmental appropriation. Tangible Interfaces provide virtual interactivity and conditional feedback through physical objects that are important to the project or game. Touchscreens are thought to be the most user-friendly device for young children (Revelle, 2013). And lastly, the whole body movement model backs up the development theory’s claim that synchronization of sensory stimuli with motor responses is a key component of cognitive development.
The Child Development and Game Features segment offers examples of positive consequences for game design’s developmental appropriateness. Scaffolding, which is useful for helping children in playing the same game and has often been used effectively in educational software, is one practical approach to supporting children’s learning (Revelle, 2013). The authors describe intrinsically-motivating games as those in which certain actions provide their own “inherent” incentive to maintain or increase their occurrence.
According to the report, children are inspired to choose games that discuss developmental problems that they are experiencing at the moment. The article concludes that understanding the developmental needs, skills, and difficulties of children of different ages will greatly increase the games’ accessibility, appeal, and efficacy, improving interaction and learning.
Revelle, G. (2013). Applying developmental theory and research to the creation of educational games. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2013(139), 31–40. Web.