Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences

Publication Details

International Conference on Games and Learning Alliance 2020


The present paper describes the design and evaluation of an adventure videogame developed to cover the mathematics primary school curriculum. The narrative of the game is based in the history of mathematics and, to win, the player needs to travel through time, starting from the ancient Egypt and finishing at the modern world. To achieve that, the player interacts with real-life characters, such as Pythagoras of Samos, learning about their contributions to the field and using this knowledge to solve puzzles. The aim of the research presented in this paper is to understand the effects of the game on students’ mathematics performance and levels of mathematics anxiety, a clinical condition where feelings of tension emerge during the manipulation of numbers. The game was tested by children from the first and second classes of Irish primary schools (n = 88). Students played the game for 3 weeks on weekly sessions of 45 min to 1 h. The experiment had a pre post-test design and students answered the Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (mAMAS), and a mathematics test designed based on the content of the game. Statistical analysis suggested the game significantly improves students’ mathematics performance. However, it increases the levels of mathematics anxiety on female students, opening discussion for considering what aspects of game design influences the levels of mathematics anxiety for this specific group.