Exploring the differences between gamer and non-gamer students in the effects of gamification on their motivation and learning

Matías Recabarren*, Benjamín Corvalán, Montserrat Villegas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that the application of gamification has positive effects on motivation and learning. However, various meta-studies indicate that there is high volatility in the published results. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether the student’s activity as gamers is related to these differences. A comparative study was conducted with undergraduates’ students in a database course. Students were divided into two instructional approaches: flipped learning (n = 47), and flipped with gamification (n = 49). Gamers were identified in each class using three methods: game frequency, spending money on videogames and most played game genre. The results showed that students in gamified class obtained significantly better results in learning, but there were no differences in motivation and satisfaction. When comparing gamers with non-gamers in the gamified class, the results using the three methods coincide with respect to motivation but show differences in satisfaction and learning. In the same way, when the effects of gamification on non-gamers were analyzed, there are coincidences in which those of the gamified class have better performance, but there are no coincidences regarding motivation and satisfaction. The results obtained show that the conclusions when comparing between gamers and non-gamers depend on the method used to identify them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3529-3542
Number of pages14
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • flipped classroom
  • gamers
  • Gamification
  • learning
  • motivation


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