Skip to content
The Impact of Computer Games in Enhancing Fake News Detection Skills in Students

The Impact of Computer Games in Enhancing Fake News Detection Skills in Students

A recent study has revealed that a computer game was successful in improving the ability of upper-secondary school students to distinguish between credible and deceptive news. The exciting findings are the work of researchers from Uppsala University and other academic institutions.

The researchers stated that the results are crucial in light of the current climate where misinformation is rampant. "It's necessary for younger generations to become adept at identifying manipulation in the world of information, especially regarding deep fakes and other forms of AI-generated disinformation, which can be challenging to detect just by observation," affirms Professor of Education at Uppsala University, Thomas Nygren.

Initiated by Nygren and three other researchers, the study comprised 516 upper-secondary school students from multiple programmes at four different schools. The focus of their examination was the game 'Bad News' which was used within a typical classroom setting. The research also marked the first time that this game was scrutinized scientifically within such an environment.

The students in the test either played the game individually, in pairs, or in entire class groups with a shared scoreboard. Regardless of the method, all showed a positive impact, which was an unexpected delight for the researchers who had anticipated students would gain more knowledge by working together at the computer.

"Students augmented their capability to discern manipulative tactics in social media posts and to differentiate between genuine and misleading news," Nygren comments.

The study uncovered that students who initially had a positive approach towards reliable news sources displayed higher capabilities in discerning misinformation. This attitude improved even more after the game was played. A large number of the students also refined their skills in assessing credibility and in explaining manipulative techniques in a more nuanced manner.

What added to the game’s appeal was its competitive nature, increasing interest and enhancing its educational usefulness. Accordingly, the researchers believe that this study provides teachers with valuable insight into how 'serious games' can be utilized in a classroom to boost media and information literacy.

While some argue that gamification boosts learning at school, Nygren points out that more competitive elements in the format of games do not necessarily escalate student learning. However, he does admit that it can contribute to making the process more amusing and engaging.

The research team included Carl-Anton Werner Axelsson (Mälardalen and Uppsala), Thomas Nygren (Uppsala), Jon Roozenbeek (Cambridge), and Sander van der Linden (Cambridge).

Disclaimer: The above article was written with the assistance of AI. The original sources can be found on ScienceDaily.