Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Research on educational games often focuses on the benefits that playing games has on student achievement. however, there is a growing body of research examining the benefits of having students design games rather than play them. Problems with game design as an instructional tool include the additional instruction on the programming language itself as well as the potential costs associated with new software. One way to mitigate these problems is to use Microsoft PowerPoint as game design software. While not intended for this purpose, MS PowerPoint is ubiquitous in schools and requires little additional instruction before students can design games. In this literature review, we introduce homemade PowerPoint games, examine the three pedagogical justifications for their use (i.e., constructionism, narrative writing, and question writing), and review research studies involving homemade PowerPoint games. When we compared the recommendations from the literature for the justifications with how the homemade PowerPoint games were implemented, we found that the recommendations were not followed. Future research examining the use of homemade PowerPoint games should look to better align the implementation of a game design project with recommendations based on the research examining the individual justifications.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.