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Embodied Cognition and Video Game Programming

, , , , , Teachers College, Columbia University, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Vienna, Austria ISBN 978-1-880094-65-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Recent research in cognitive psychology and neurophysiology has identified a connection between embodied cognition and computer programming and mathematics instruction. This paper examines the notion of embodied cognition in the context of video game programming instruction. Through the use of ‘full simulation’, novices and young children internalize (Glenberg, 1997) abstract concepts (Anderson, 2003), such as looping and variables, while ‘constructing’ (Papert & Harel, 1991) their own video games. We propose that by providing students with an opportunity to embody their cognitive process during the creation of their own video games that they will develop a deeper understanding of basic mathematical operators and computer programming concepts.


Fadjo, C., Shin, J., Lu, M.S., Chan, M. & Black, J. (2008). Embodied Cognition and Video Game Programming. In J. Luca & E. Weippl (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2008--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 5749-5756). Vienna, Austria: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 12, 2019 from .


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