Problem-solving techniques in the context of an educational video game: The mudwall puzzle in Zoombinis

G. Thoma, Eirini Biza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper aims to highlight the problem-solving nature of video games by examining problem-solving techniques in the context of the educational game Zoombinis. Using screen-capturing software, the gameplay of an 8-year-old participant was recorded and analysed in relation to his strategies towards solving the implicit Mudwall problem in the game, from a global-local perspective. Findings indicate the development of techniques —‘stepping-stone’ and ‘probable-exclusion’— that through Polya’s problem-solving steps, the game’s design and participant’s experimentation, can be used to solve the Mudwall puzzle, illustrating such game’s potentiality as a problem-solving environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eleventh Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education
EditorsU.T. Jankvist, M. van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M. Veldhuis
PublisherFreudenthal Group & Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University and ERME
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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