Challenges and opportunities in employing game development in computer science classes
Abstract: Learning to program is a challenging task. By stepping from programming learning environments to professional integrated development environments, the complexity involved and the effort required to successfully write programs grows. Moreover, motivation tends to decline, especially when the learners are overstrained. Video game development is perceived as highly motivating by learners and simultaneously is suitable to effectively deliver important concepts of computer science. In this paper, a group of students engaged in game programming with a specialized framework is compared with a group of students working on student-chosen projects using Windows Forms applications. The groups are compared based on questionnaires, text feedback, and a brief programming skills test. Although motivation was high in both groups, the students engaged in game development scored significantly higher on the programming skills test.