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Are mobile games good for preschoolers? Angry Birds and science learning in a group of 5-years old Christothea Herodotou Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK.

Abstract: This paper reports on the case study of 18 pre-schoolers 5 years old and their use of the mobile game Angry Birds. The game was played repeatedly for seven days with the aim to capture its impact on science learning and understanding. Data were collected through pre/posttests, screen recordings, questionnaires, and interviews. Findings indicate a better understanding of how force affects motion, yet not angle, and prediction of motion as a parabola, after playing the game. Communication instances and interviews revealed that children developed an understanding of cause and effect relationships during gaming, nonetheless this understanding was poorly verbalized and explained. A discrepancy was also observed between game performance and explicit judgements about causal relationships. It is proposed that, in young ages learning from gaming is less intuitive; it might be more beneficial if it is accompanied by instruction and design scaffolds to make learning visible and more explicit. Keywords: mobile learning; preschoolers; science learning; projectile motion; longitudinal

Introduction The use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones is a popular play activity amongst young children. In the US, 39% of 2-4 years old is found to have used a smart device (iPad or iPod) (MDG Advertising, 2012). In the UK, 40% of the 3-4 years old make use of a tablet computer at home (OfCom, 2014). The use of mobile devices by young children is found to be universal across diverse socioeconomic backgrounds; 97% of children from low-income families make use of a mobile device and 75% of 4 years old owns such a device (Kabali et al., 2015). Preschool children have become the focus of interest of educational app designers. Online app stores feature 72% of educational apps targeting the specific age group (Shuler, Levine, & Ree, 2012). Yet, despite their popularity, limited studies have examined their cognitive effects on pre-schoolers, raising an urgent need for further research in the field (Crescenzi, Jewitt, & Price, 2014; Lieberman, Bates, & So, 2009; NAEYC, 2012; Neumann & Neumann, 2014; Starcic & Bagon, 2014). This kind of research would be beneficial to a number of stakeholders including educators, policy makers, and parents. It would provide insights as to whether and how mobile apps might be integrated and used in early years curricula and provide evidence-based recommendations as to which apps are educationally-sound and appropriate for young children. At the moment, there are no specific recommendations about the use of mobile devices for learning (Neumann & Neumann, 2014) and the use of rote-learning applications is the current state of the art (Herold, 2015). In addition, as in the release of other media forms such as television, there is a withstanding controversy as to whether mobile devices and apps are good or bad for the development of young children. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (2015) discourages any time interacting with media screen, unless minimum, for children older than 2 years old. Yet, ICT experiences in early years might be crucial to set the foundations for ICT efficiency in later years (Siraj-Blatchford & SirajBlatchford, 2000). This paper aims to shed some light in this debate by examining the learning effectiveness of a mobile game application, Angry Birds (www.angrybirds.com), on pre-schoolers’ science learning and understanding. Few studies have examined the use of touch screen mobile games by pre-schoolers. Mccarthy, Li, and Tiu (2013) reported a positive impact on maths comprehension after using a mobile game specifically designed for maths learning with funding from the US Department of Education. Pre-schoolers’ early mathematics skills were improved after playing the game at home with the support of their parents. Young children from low income families managed to outperform their peers (comparison group) in a maths test indicating that early exposure to digital games and support from parents can have a positive impact on maths preparation and school

readiness. Miller, Robertson, Hudson, & Shimi (2012) used the commercial simulation game Nintendogs with 74, 5-6 years old in classroom conditions and reported improvements in children's knowledge about pets especially when mediated by appropriate pedagogical approaches. Ryokai, Farzin, Kaltman, and Niemeyer (2013) designed a mobile game for examining the object tracking performance of 31, 3-5 year olds, that is, the ability to focus on relevant visual information and ignore irrelevant stimuli preventing sensory overload. Findings revealed that mobile games are suitable for measuring object tracking performance away from the research laboratory. Yet, more research is needed to identify whether the game might enhance object tracking abilities. To the best of authors’ knowledge, no scientific studies have been contacted yet examining the impact of the commercial game Angry Birds on pre-schoolers’ science learning. Angry Birds was developed in 2009 by Rovio. The aim of the game is, by using a slingshot, to throw birds away in order to reach and free "pigs" from their cages. The game is comprised of different versions each one consisting of various levels. Leveling up unlocks new levels. The game was deemed as a suitable research arena due to its popularity across mobile games - being one of the most downloaded free games of all times and the recent interest in developing an innovative early years curriculum explicitly around the game, called "Angry Birds Playground". Initiated by Rovio and the University of Helsinki, this approach aims to bring fun and creativity into learning in preschool years by blending free play, books, teachers and digital devices (see www.funlearning.com/angry-birdsplayground/). In addition, the game has attracted the interest of educators worldwide as evidenced in the development of online teaching resources around the game such as lesson plans and printables structured upon the storyline of the game (e.g., http://ilearntechnology.com/wordpress/?p=3970). Reviewing such resources and how the game is presented in the Google App store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rovio.angrybirds&hl=en_GB), it could be argued that it supports learning of basic physics principles such as speed and velocity, making observations, and hypothesis testing. Gamers interact with the properties and applications of projectile motion. Projectile motion is the movement of an object into two dimensions both horizontally and vertically at the same time. While an object is moving horizontally gravity is pulling the object down making the object follow a curved path/line. As noted by Lamb (2014), air resistance has not been added to game design, hence the birds trajectory is a parabola that results from the slingshot force and its angle. Experimenting with the game, it becomes evident that trial and error is often used to pass a level. In other instances, strategic thinking is required to successfully complete a level. Participating children in this study were instructed to play the game repeatedly without any explanations about strategies they can use to win a level or what they may learn out it. Any learning that might have occurred was rather informal, casual, and intuitive. In the next section we present preschoolers' scientific thinking skills and science understanding of projectile motion. This knowledge informed the formation of specific research questions (see next section) and contribute to our understanding of the children's interactions in the game.

Preschoolers and scientific reasoning Preschool children present basic abilities to engage in scientific thinking that is, reasoning to evaluate evidence and understand experimentation in simple tasks. Preschoolers' scientific reasoning skills appear in the age of 4 in the form of evaluating evidence and understanding experimentation in simple tasks. Sobel, Tenenbaum, and Gopnik, (2004) demonstrated that children's causal inferences cannot be explained by mere recognitions of associations amongst events similar to classical conditioning (conditioned versus unconditioned stimuli) and/or a calculation of their associative strength (associative strength is translated into causal strength). Rather causal relationships were explained through probabilistic reasoning, that is, by taking into account how the prior probability of the outcome might inform observed data. Sobel et al. concluded that despite children's inability to explicitly reason about probabilities, they can use probabilistic information to infer causal relationships. By the age of 5 and 6, they can successfully infer causal relationships between variables in the lack of evidence (Piekny, Grube, & Maehler, 2013) in areas such as folk physics (Baillargeon, Kotovsky, & Needham, 1995). Children tend to form intuitive theories based on experiential thinking often incorporating a number of misconceptions in their theories. Everyday explanations such as direct observations of phenomena, fragmented stories from adults, and analogy-based explanations are prevalent in preschool and affect the interpretation of new information and the development of scientific thinking (Kikas, 2010). Theory-based explanations and misconceptions fade out, as children grow older due to executive control over thinking, namely, the ability to represent hierarchical rule systems relating stimuli to responses (Gropen, Clark-Chiarelli, Hoisington, &

Ehrlich, 2011). Misconceptions or preconceptions in relation to movement are prevalent in early years’ development. Preschoolers have misconceptions about objects' trajectories when more than one causal force are combined. Children (mean age 5) when asked to predict the path of a rolling ball off a table or dropping off a moving train predicted a straight rather than a parabolic line (Hood, 1995). One exemption to this misconception was the preschoolers' ability to predict a straight path as the right path of a ball exiting a curved tube - an understanding that changed when entering primary school (predicted to be a curved path) (Kaiser, McCloskey, & Proffitt, 1986). Children can correctly predict where a ball that rolled off a slanted ramp will be landed at the age of 5-6 indicating a conceptual understanding of the notion of inertia on projectile motions (Kim & Spelke, 1999). Children start using causal language to describe force relations by the age of 4 which however supplement with gestures to form complete causal sentences (Göksun, George, Hirsh-Pasek, & Golinkoff, 2013). Understanding of simple causes precedes the development of causal language. Göksun et al. examined whether children are able to combine multiple forces and process events in terms of force dynamics before productive talk about causal relationships. Children were asked to predict the direction and endpoint of an object in three types of causal relations (Cause: a single force moving an object; Enable: a secondary force that facilitates motion in the intended direction; Prevent: a secondary force hindering motion towards the intended direction) as explained by the force dynamics model. Results revealed children's ability to correctly judge the direction and end point of a single-force trials (5.5 years old only were able to integrate 2 forces) - they could incorporate two forces only if both moved at the same direction, their poor skills in prevent trials, and their disregard of secondary forces (wind) when judging the endpoint of two-force interactions. These findings indicate that children before the age of 5 focus on a single direction when predicting the direction of objects' movement while after 5 they begin considering for secondary dimensions (e.g., gravity and inertia, force dynamics). A discrepancy is identified between intuitive knowledge about projectile motion in action and knowledge expressed in explicit judgements (Bertamini, Spooner, & Hecht, 2004; Huber, Krist, & Wilkening, 2003; Krist, Fieberg, & Wilkening, 1993). In a number of experiments, Krist et al. (1993) compared intuitive knowledge about projectile motion in action (the motion of an object as influenced by gravity) with knowledge expressed in explicit judgements in 5-6 years old and adults. In the action condition, participants propel a tennis ball from a wooden board with adjustable height towards a target on the ground. Distance from target and height of board varied in between trials. In the judgement condition, a speedometerlike rating scale (participants turned the knob of the potentiometer clockwise, starting from the turtle position and ending to the rabbit position, to the desired position) was used to estimate the optimal speed for different height-distance combinations. Optimal speed is proportional to the target distance divided by the square root of the release height. ANOVA analysis indicated that the majority of pre-schoolers took into account one dimension only; 16 participants focused on distance as affecting optimal speed, 4 of them on height, and only 1 counted for the height-distance combination effect. Participants accounting for the effect of height on optimal speed perceived false that greater height would lead to greater speed. The integration of both dimensions when calculating optimal speed was found to increase with age. On the contrary, in the action condition, pre-schoolers achieved similar results as fourth graders and adults when throwing the ball to the target accounting for both the height and distance as affecting optimal speed pointing to a dissociation between judgemental competences and perceptual-motor skills. Considering for pre-schoolers’ scientific competences as described above, this study will seek to capture the impact of the game on science learning and understanding by answering the following two specific research questions: RQ1: What are children preconceptions about projectile motion? and RQ2: How does playing the game affect scientific thinking and causal relationships about projectile motion?

The Study This paper describes the interactions of 18 pre-schoolers, five years old, with mobile devices (tablets) loaded with the game Angry Bird. Participating children formed a preschool class at a local school in England. Children were allocated into groups of five and given one tablet each. A screen recording software was installed in each tablet and recorded actual gameplay and children's oral communication. Each group of children played the game for approx. 7 minutes per day for a duration of 7 days. The overall mean time each child spent on the game was 45.41 minutes (SD=11.66). Where possible visits to the school were sequential to ensure a better continuation of the activity. The activity spanned three weeks. Instruments for data collection: a) A pre/post learning task was designed to examine children's knowledge about projectile motion before and after playing the game. It consisted of 3 activities. The first two

activities examined how the angle of a slingshot affects the pathway and landing position of a ball and the third one how force affects the motion of the ball. The first and third activities required to draw the pathway and landing position of a ball in five different instances (variation in the slingshot angle and force). The second activity was a multiple choice activity; children were asked to circle the slingshot that would get the ball into a basket. The distance of the basket from the slingshot varied in three different instances. b) Questionnaire with demographics and game preferences: A number of questions about demographics (age, gender) and previous experience of using tablets and playing mobile games were asked by the researcher to the children before the enactment of the intervention and their answers were noted down. c) Screen-recordings: Children's gameplay was recorded throughout the duration of the intervention using a screen recording software. d) Interviews: Semi-structured individual interviews with 3 pre-schoolers followed up the end of the intervention. Children were shown a play-back of their gameplay of that day and asked to explain their actions. Process of data collection: To ensure that children have a basic understanding of what a slingshot is and how it works, a toy plastic slingshot was shown to them and demonstrated how it works by pulling the sling and throwing away some soft balls. Prior to playing the game, pre-schoolers completed the pre-test. The researcher explained what each picture was showing and what it was asking from children to do. In some cases to facilitate understanding, the toy slingshot was used to demonstrate the activity. Children were divided into groups of five and played the game sequentially for a period of seven days. The last day of the intervention they completed the post-test after playing the game. Process of data analysis: a) Pre-post tests were evaluated by two independent raters. Cohen's κ was run to determine the degree of inter-rater agreement in the two open activities (5 questions). There was good (range 0.61-0.80) agreement between the two raters as defined by the guidelines from Altman (1999), κ = .750 (N=170), p < .0005. The average score given by the two raters was used in the analysis to consolidate any disagreement. b) Screen recordings were analysed to identify evidence of change in gameplay from Day 1 to Day 7. The following information were extracted: score per level per day, number of failed attempts at each level, maximum level achieved by each child, and time playing the game per day. To extract a total score for each child per day, the scores accumulated per day by each child were summed up and divided by the time spent on gaming. To consider for time variation, time was transformed into a percentage based on the maximum time a child played the game across all days (15 minutes). Game levels increase in difficulty while progressing. To consider for which and how many levels were completed by each child an additional proportional score was assigned to the above equation for completing each level. c) Qualitative data from interviews and the oral communication of children were thematically analysed in order to understand children's reasoning while gaming. Ethical issues: This study has been governed by, and adhered to BERA Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research. To secure privacy, security and ethical conduct during its implementation, parental consent was obtained for participating preschoolers. The researcher conducting the study acquired a cleared DBR check before working with children. All personally identifiable information held for use by the project was made anonymous, and made available only to a ‘need to know’ basis.

Findings Participating children (N=18) were all five years old, 12 female and 6 male. Almost all had a touchscreen device at home (tablet, phone) (n=17, 94.4%) and the majority of them made use of it on their own (n=11, 61.1%) and with parents and siblings (n=5, 27.8%). Nearly half of them (n=8, 44.4%) played the game Angry Birds in the past. Other games they use to play are: dress-up games, pets, puzzles, find the differences, hung man, Gummy birds, Minecraft, Barbie, and CBeebies games. The analysis of pre-post tests using paired-sample t-tests revealed no significant differences between pre- and post-tests in activity 1 (t=-1.48, df=15, p=.158, NS) and 2 (t=-.212, df=15, p=.835). Yet a significant difference was observed in activity 3 (t=-4.21, df=15, p=.001). The mean score (M=10.75, SD=1.06) of posttests was significantly higher from the mean score of pretests (M=8.96, SD=1.98) indicating better performance after playing the game on how the slingshot force affects projectile motions. In terms of whether the pathway of the ball was correctly predicted as being a parabola, a statistically significant improvement in post-tests was observed (t=-2.16, df=15, p=.047) (Mpre= 3.06, SD= 1.8) (Mpost= 4, SD=.81). The mean number of correct answers increased from 3.06 to 4 (out of 5 answers) from pre- to posttests. To identify students' preconceptions about projectile motion, we analyzed further the students' responses to the questions that requested to sketch the pathway of a ball in the pre-test. 27.8% correctly predicted the pathway of the ball as a parabola in all 5 questions, 33.3% in 4 of the questions, 5.6% in 3 of the

questions, and 33.3% in 2 or less questions. Drawing the pathway as a parabola occurred in 66.8% of all responses, as a straight line occurred 22.2%, as a pointy line 6.6 %, and as a curly line 4.4%. In terms of the game performance and how this might have changed by the end of the intervention, a paired t-test revealed statistically significant differences between children's score in Day 2 and Day 7 (t=-2.62, df=12, p=.022). The mean score in the game by the end of the intervention was higher (M=31.41, SD=27.93) compared to the beginning of it (M=46.43, SD=28.15) indicating that game performance was improved after 7 game sessions. The qualitative analysis of children's oral communication during gameplay and the three post-play, individual interviews revealed some interesting insights about cause and effect relationships and causal thinking. Three major themes emerged from the thematic analysis (Kvale, 1996) of data: a) reactions to gameplay, b) support to other children, and c) explanations of actions in the game. Children oral communication was overwhelmed by emotional reactions to actions of winning or losing in the game and evaluative statements about the degree of difficulty of gaming. An excerpt from a group of children in Day 2 (M1, X1) illuminates this further: Child 1: Yes! [Excitement] Child 2: Why do you say yes? Child 1: Because I won! One star only [Disappointment]... Child 2: You got only one star in level 1? Child 3: Level 1 is very easy. Child 1: Level 1 is very hard [tries again] again I got only 1 star. [Moves to level 2] It's very hard this level. One more to go [bird] if I don't make it I will start over [level failed] Child 2: I didn't make it either The above extract indicates children's persistency and ongoing effort to complete a level. This is further reinforced by the analysis of game performance and the observation that children used to play a level multiple times until they win it or reach the maximum score. Yet, some other children skipped levels they could not master and were disappointed from not managing to win. As a boy (Day 2, L1) explains: "Yes I won! I got 2 stars! I have to get one more! [Researcher advises him to move to the next level. He plays a new level once and fails] I failed, it will never break...[He tries again]. I didn't make it, better to move to another level. [He moves to another level.] Ooh this will never break, I missed it [He moves to another level]. I got 3 [stars] look, look [excitement]". Satisfaction with the game was tightly related to game achievement. Winning led to positive emotional reactions while losing to frustration and disappointment. Children were playing the game in groups of five. Being sited around the same table, they often looked at other children's screen and commented on their gameplay: "I won this level. It's very easy, if you push this rock they [pigs] get down" (M2, Day 2). They provided guidance as to how to win a level or handle the slingshot properly: - Child 1: "Straight, straight M, don't push it forward because if you push it forward it will go back. Is that ok M? I did this and I know [after a couple of seconds] Well done M!" - Child 2: "How do we do it you said?" - Child 3: "You just pull it back." (Day 3, X1, MA1, M1) The researcher moved around and randomly asked children to explain why certain things happened in the game such as "Why did the bird go high? Why you didn't hit the cage? Why the cage was not destroyed" to get an indication of how children think and act in the game. Children could not explain their actions in the game most of the times while other times their explanations were incomplete and poorly stated. This is exemplified by the dialogue between the researcher and one boy (Day 5, F1) below: Researcher: What do you have to do here? Child: [Pull the slingshot] low Researcher: And now what do you have to do? Child: [Pull the slingshot] high so the rock falls down and goes here and here [where pigs are]. Yet this example points to a basic understanding of how the slingshot angle relates to the shape of the parabola as well as comprehension of cause and effect relationships; by hitting one item, this item will roll over and hit another item causing its collapse or downfall. These observations were further illuminated in the three follow-up interviews. In the next excerpt, a boy explains his actions in the game: -Researcher: What happened in level 2? Why did the 3 pigs fall down? -Child: I hit the one and this hit the other and then this hit the other one. -Researcher: Why did the bird go far away? -Child: It happened to go there.

-Researcher: [for a different level] You hit the cage here. Why the cage didn't break? -Child: It didn't break because I hit only the glass. -Researcher: What else should you hit? -Child: The bricks -Researcher: Why the glass broke and the brick didn't? -Child: I don't know. (Interview 3) Another boy and a girl explain why some levels were easy and some others not and why they pulled the slingshot in certain ways. Their explanations are rather incomplete and accompanied by gestures. The articulation of what has been done in the game is poor, yet to answer the questions they point with their hands the pathway of the birds and their parabola on the air or on the screen: - Researcher: Why did you throw the bird so high? - Child: Because of this [shows the result of his action on the screen] - Researcher: Can you explain this? - Child: It went like this and then like this [shows on the air] (Interview 1) - Researcher: Why did the bird go so high? How did you pull the slingshot? - Child: Like this [shows with her finger] and then went like this [she shows] and all went down. (Interview 2)

Conclusions This paper described a longitudinal case-study of the use of the mobile game Angry Birds by 18 preschoolers aged 5 years old. Children played the game repeatedly for 7 days and their interactions with it were systematically captured. Data were collected from a range of resources including screen recordings of gameplay, recordings of oral communication instances, pre-posttests evaluating science understanding, ad-hoc individual interviews, and questionnaires about demographics. The aim of the study was to evidence any possible influence of the game on children's understanding of projectile motion. Capturing children's interactions with touch screen mobile games, such as Angry Birds, can contribute to our understanding of the impact of mobile games when these are used in non-formal and uninstructed conditions and contexts that are not mediated by adults (e.g., parents). Such knowledge is needed to inform educational policy stakeholders, teachers, and parents on whether and how mobile games might be used in leisure and classroom conditions for the learning benefit of young children. This study becomes even more requisite given the lack of research examining the use of mobile applications especially in preschool years and the increasing use of touch screen devices by young children. To answer RQ1: What are children preconceptions about projectile motion? children’s responses to pre-tests were analysed. Two third of children predicted the pathway of the ball as being a parabola in almost all or all questions. The rest of the children predicted this as being a straight, pointy or curly line. Preconceptions about movement are prevalent in early years and fade out gradually as children grow up (Kaiser et al., 1986). Findings from this study align with studies showing that children can correctly predict where a ball that rolled off a slanted ramp will be landed at the age of 5-6 indicating a conceptual understanding of the notion of inertia on projectile motions (Kim & Spelke, 1999). Yet, the demonstration of how a slingshot worked before the completion of pre-posttests, as a means to ensure that all children understand what a slingshot is, might have had an impact on their understanding. Previous exposure to related subject matter can affect children's reasoning and the development of cognitive models for understanding the world. If no other mental schemes were in place and children were not familiar with how a slingshot works, then they might have spontaneously created a notion of force model based on how this was explained and shown to them (Graham, Berry, & Rowlands, 2013) and this might have affected their pre-test performance. To answer RQ2: How does playing the game affect scientific thinking about projectile motion? evidence were collected from pre-post tests and qualitatively from the thematic analysis of interviews and oral communication. The influence of force on projectile motion was the area where children showed significant improvements after playing the game. Children performed better in post-test in questions requesting from them to predict and draw the pathway and landing position of a ball when little or much force is exhibited on the slingshot. Yet, no improvement in performance was observed in relation to how the angle of the slingshot affects the pathway and landing position of the ball. In addition, a significant improvement in performance was identified in relation to correctly predicting the pathway of the ball as being a parabola, as opposed to a straight, curly or pointy line, after playing the game. This evidence suggests that the repeated use of a game can have a positive impact on children's scientific knowledge about projectiles, yet in particular areas and not universally. The qualitative analysis of oral communication instances during gameplay and post-play interviews contributed

further insights to this RQ. Children observed cause and effect relationships in the game such as how force affects the movement of objects and formed game strategies accordingly to win a level. Causal learning was mainly fostered through exploration of causal links while playing (exploratory play) in the form of hypothesistesting (Legare, 2014; Schulz, Gopnik, & Glymour, 2007). Children were testing different slingshot angles until they identified the one that could hit the pigs. Yet not all children managed to device effective game strategies through this process. The analysis of screen recordings showed several occasions of children who played a level repeatedly and failed with no adjustments made to their strategy in order to improve their game performance and win, indicating that an understanding of in-game cause and effect relationships might not happen intuitively across all children. In addition, the qualitative analysis of the data stressed the difficulty children faced to verbalize and describe their actions in the game. Their explanations were rather incomplete and poor and often accompanied by gestures. This aligns well with existing studies making reference to children as young as 4 years old and their use of gestures to form complete causal sentences (Göksun et al., 2013). Yet, it should be noted that despite difficulties in explaining causal actions in the game, children could use the in-game slingshot effectively as evidenced in their game performance by the end of the intervention. Projectile motion in action is found to be better developed in young children than knowledge expressed in explicit judgments as evidenced in children's performance when throwing a ball to a target and accounting for both the height and distance as affecting optimal speed as opposed to their judgemental competences (e.g., Bertamini et al., 2004). One conclusion that could be drawn from this study is that the systematic exposure to mobile games might be beneficial in terms of learning to a certain degree, as evidenced in pre-schoolers’ understanding of projectile motion after playing the game Angry Birds. The difficulty in explaining causal relationships in the game and the lack of understanding of how the slingshot angle might relate to motion might be an indication that transfer of learning from games to other non-game contexts does not happen intuitively. This might be explained by the dissimilarity between the game and the transfer contexts often cited as inhibiting transfer. Alternatively, it might point to the need to scaffold gaming with supporting material or instruction in order to make learning from gaming visible to young children, help them learn how to explicitly talk about it, and understand in-game causal relationships. In practice, this might mean that games would be more beneficial to young children under certain conditions, for example, when adults (parents, teachers, siblings) accompany young children when they play, and provide explanations about any learning that might occur from gaming, or might point to the need to add scaffolds to the design of games such as Angry Birds to make learning explicit and facilitate young children's understanding.

Acknowledgements This research was funded by the British Educational Research Association (BERA) UK.

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