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.
Siko, J. P., & Barbour, M. (2013). Game design and homemade Powerpoint games: An examination of the justifications and a review of the research. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 22(1), 81-108.