Educational games can be viewed in two ways, “learning to play” or “playing to learn.” The Chinese Idiom String Up Game was specifically designed to examine the effect of “learning to play” on the interrelatedness of players' gameplay interest, competitive anxiety, and perceived utility of pre-game learning (PUPGL). Data from 288 subjects were validated and analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Results indicated that players' pre-game learning attitude (PGLA) served positively to predict participants' gameplay interest and reflected a higher level of PUPGL of learning gameplay. PGLA was negatively correlated to competitive anxiety but was not significantly associated with players' PUPGL of learning gameplay. These results implied that by enhancing players' willingness to learn before engaging in a competitive game can contribute to increased gameplay interest and reduced competitive anxiety, thereby reinforcing the benefits of educational games.
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