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Most games are made and instituted in higher educational contexts in the hopes that they will increase student outcomes. In a meta-analysis of games and simulations used in higher education and professional training, Traci Sitzman found games to be more effective than lectures, demonstrating 10% to 20% higher gains in declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge, retention, and self-efficacy. Other research has found games to be more successful, contingent on the subject matter. For example, while results for learning a second language were overwhelmingly positive, the effects for other subject areas have been inconsistent.

Even in the case of statistically significant results, effect sizes need to be taken into account. Although the findings for a specific game might be statistically significant, it might be that the outcome results ...

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