Investigating the Impact of Integrating Vocabulary Exercises Into an Adventure Video Game on Second Vocabulary Learning

Hao Jan Howard Chen, Hsiao Ling Hsu*, Zhi Hong Chen, Andrew G. Todd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have found that computer video games can offer a facilitative vocabulary learning environment. Among different types of computer games, adventure games have received much attention because of their rich input and immersive learning environment. However, some researchers have indicated that because of the characters’ fast-talking speed and many new vocabulary, more lexical supports should be provided in the games. This study thus developed an adventure game with two versions. One version was an adventure game and the other was the same game supported with vocabulary exercises. Two classes were randomly assigned to play two versions of the game and to take a pre-test, post-test, and delayed post-test. A survey was also conducted to investigate the participants’ perceptions. The results showed that both groups acquired new words, but the experimental group performed significantly better in both the immediate and delayed post-tests. These findings indicated that the adventure game alone can help participants acquire new words. However, the inclusion of word-focused exercises further helped learners retain more new words. Thus, it is suggested that game developers can incorporate word-focused exercises into video games. The additional exercise can allow learners to benefit from both implicit and explicit vocabulary learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-341
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr


  • adventure games
  • digital game-based learning
  • learners’ perceptions
  • vocabulary exercises

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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