GIPI · Grupo Imágenes Palabras e Ideas

We are a team with 'NBA Live 07'


When we play together with children we realize that any of the images depicted in “NBA Live” suggest many ideas, which encourage further discussion. For example: Is it the same to play the game than to watch it from the stand? What does one need to win? How can the actions of those who play for different teams be complemented?

In this project we analyze how playing with “NBA Live 07” can help in introducing into our everyday life many values and skills usually learned through sports. Moreover, it shows what can be done with other sports games.


  • To analyze the role of video games in the development of skills associated to critical and creative thinking.
  • To explore new multi-modal literacy means related to the use of video games and other media such as the Internet or photography.

Project Development

Data for this project was collected in a Year 2 classroom of Primary Education (during a 7 session span) at the school CEIP Henares in Alcalá de Henares during the 2006/2007 school year.

In the workshop organized, video games coexisted with other media, such as blogs or digital photography. The combined presence of these tools allowed us to communicate and express ourselves through multiple codes. Using the photo camera to compare virtual reality to real life or writing our opinions and thoughts on the videogame in a notebook were ways of becoming aware if its language, analyzing it critically and conveying our experiences to other players. The different workshop stages allowed us to jointly play and think over the video games and their messages.

During the workshop, children became sports journalists and wrote up reports of the games that were played, in addition to reflecting upon the issues that arose, for example: Why do we only see a few games on television? Is it just the best ones? Boys and girls recorded some of the games at home and went to the ACB court to watch Estudiantes (a team in the Spanish Basketball League) play.

It was also the boys and girls who told us, during the last workshop session, what they had learned. Speaking, thinking, writing and creating are closely related processes and being able to generate them was one of the workshop’s goals. To achieve this, video games were not treated as an isolated element, but rather used in combination with other tools and, above all, in a way that enabled the younger ones to feel backed by the adults. 


Learning to participate within a new culture in a critical way

Introducing video games in the classroom contributed to bringing our everyday life closer to the children’s popular culture.  The possibilities for interaction and immersion provided by video games enable players to identify with the main characters and to take decisions related to the character’s values and behaviour rules. Data obtained shows, for example, how children approached, through NBA Live 07, values such as teamwork or solidarity.

Learning to think and create

The use of video games in educational settings helps in the development of the thinking process in a double way. On the one hand, it contributes to the development of argumentative thinking processes, whereby children must verbalize the strategies that allow them to overcome the different levels of the game. On the other hand, players are faced with contexts that foster creative thinking when they try to discover new solutions to the problems posed in a virtual reality. At all times, the help from an adult proved essential to favour the development of complex arguments within the dialogues.


Research project “Commercial video games as educational tools” included in an agreement signed with Electronic Arts.

Participating with us

  • Electronic Arts España.
  • CEIP Henares de Alcalá de Henares.

More information

Related readings

  • Lacasa, P.; Méndez, L.; Martínez, R. (2009). ‘Learning using videogames as educational tools: Building bridges between commercial and serious games’. In Marja Kankaanranta & Pekka Neittaanmäki (Eds) ‘Design and use of serious games’, (107-126). Milton Keynes, UK: Springer.
  • Lacasa, P.; Méndez, L.; Martínez, R. (2008). Aprender a contar historias y a reflexionar con videojuegos comerciales. En Gross, B. ‘Videojuegos y Aprendizaje’. Barcelona: Grao.
  • Lacasa, P., Méndez, L., & Martinez, R. (2008) ‘Bringing commercial games into the classrooms’ Computers and Composition,25, pp. 331-358.
  • Lacasa, P.; Martínez-Borda, R.; Méndez, L. (2008) ‘Developing new literacies using commercial digital games as educational tools’. Linguistis & Education, 19 (2), pp. 85-106.

Vídeo del Proyecto


Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009.
Coordination: Pilar Lacasa. Editing and digital support: David Herrero Martínez. Web Master: Luis Briso de Montiano Aldecoa. Graphic Design: Rebeca Ochoa Bernabé

Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009. All rights reserved | Credits - Last Update: 22/10/2011