It appears that it is a well-accepted assumption that interactivity will improve the entertainment and/or learning value of a media. This paper reviews various studies exploring the role of interactivity and reports on a study conducted to see whether a novice could learn some basic skills on how to be a customs officer from watching a game demonstration compared to being an active participant in the same game. The study suggests that basic knowledge about a domain may be best gained passively, but that knowledge about how to behave and what questions to ask in that domain are best gained through active involvement. Intuitively the findings make sense, and provide some guidance on when interactivity is actually important.
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