López, Ximena and Fabricatore, Carlo (2007) Video game development and its potential for education and creativity. In: Creativity - Paths of creation. (Unpublished)

This paper explores the suitability of videogame making as an educational approach to train young adults intending employment in the game and multimedia industry. As society evolves towards a more technological and globalized world, the importance of creativity in education and training becomes a central issue. There is a growing demand for innovative individuals, capable of performing tasks that involve exploration, experimentation, imagination and flexibility, all attributes of creative processes oriented to achieve innovative solutions. Despite some criticism, videogames have proved to be powerful educational tools to promote creativity. Computer games can give the opportunity to learners to explore their imagination (Millians, 1999). Fantasies and non-real situations in computer games can be used to stimulate learners’ creative behavior (Vockell, 2004). Virtual game environments may increase creative thinking and cooperation when working in small groups (Tulenko & Kryder, 1990) and the development of creative actions in verbal dialogue and non-verbal expressions when playing multiplayer games (Wright et al, 2002).
However, the educational potential of videogames has usually been considered from the player’s perspective. Little research has been devoted to explore the impact of videogame making for learning (Kafai, 2006) and only recently this area has gained more followers among researchers. Research in videogame making has evidenced that videogame creation is an intrinsically creative and constructive process, fueled by both individual characteristics of team members (i.e. analogical thinking, gaming experience), and group dynamics (i.e. discussion, brainstorming). Videogames do not necessarily follow traditional principles of technological product development that emphasize logically and functionally coherent design, allowing a continuous and iterative process of conceptualization and redesign through all its phases (Tschang, 2006). Videogame creation is seen as a process combining creativity and innovation: creative thinking for idea development with a more rational process of problem solving to delineate and organize the different components of the game (Tschang, 2003).
A real experience using this approach is presented to illustrate the application of videogame design in a vocational training course for multimedia design. The results suggest designing videogames can help create exceptional learning environments that enhance creativity emergency.