Computer science in online gaming communities

Lassi Haaranen*, Rodrigo Duran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The culture of playing video games has evolved rapidly in the past decade. Presently, there are many different types of online communities that have games or a particular game as their focus. Some games, in particular, can be used as a platform for introducing and discussing computer science concepts. We wanted to investigate how these online gaming communities and computer science are intertwined. We approached this by gathering user interaction data in two previous studies from which this article presents a more comprehensive synthesis. We found that the online gaming communities have rich interactions that relate to programming and computer science. Based on the qualitative analysis, we categorized these interactions in three themes: learning, programming experience, and community. In addition to the interaction analysis, we present four perspectives that we found particularly useful in analyzing these online communities: engagement, interactivity, exposure, and technical detail. We conclude that these communities and interactions within them can act as a form of outreach. Furthermore, they act as places where newcomers meet with more experienced programmers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputers Supported Education - 9th International Conference, CSEDU 2017, Revised Selected Papers
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Computer Supported Education - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 21 Apr 201723 Apr 2017
Conference number: 9

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


ConferenceInternational Conference on Computer Supported Education
Abbreviated titleCSEDU


  • Collaborative learning
  • Computer science education
  • Game-based learning
  • Informal learning
  • Online communities

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