Games Research

Educational Games Research

Article: Learning to Play to Learn – Lessons in Educational Game Design
by Eric Zimmerman and Nick Fortugno

Excellent article summarizing the state of educational games. It addressing the split between educators and developers as well as the importance of using games to communicate process, not raw data:

…if your aim is to create a game about history, an experience in which players learn historical dates is less of a game-native approach than one about historical causality, or a simulation of a historical period.

Videos: Extra Credit’s Gamifying Education & Tangential Learning

Gamifying Education gives some strategies for teachers to bring games into their existing classes with simple mechanics. For example, recontextualizing grades with XP, using class wide achievements to encourage collaboration, and the huge potential of ARGs. And a great “plot your route” exercise using Wikipedia at about 6:50. All excellent stuff that would be relatively easy to implement – I really hope some of the teachers watching did.

Tangential Learning talks about, well, tangential learning which is the idea that some of an audience will self-educate on a topic if introduced to it via something that already interests them. This is common already in films and would be an easy way to introduce depth into games.

Conference: Games+Learning+Society – June 12-14, 2013 in Madison, WI

Games+Learning+ Society is a group of academic researchers, developers, and government and industry leaders in Madison, WI. They organize a few courses on games and ed. at the Univeristy of WI’s School of Education as well as creating projects connecting social practices with technology. The conference is in it’s ninth year and sounds fantastic – highlights include keynotes by forerunners in both academics and industry professions, interactive workshops, debates, hands-on gameplay, cocktails, and many more. I’ll be there.

Reading List: Games and Learning

A fantastic compilations of readings divided into the themes The Young and the Digital, Games and Learning Frameworks, Games and Learning Outcomes, Game Design, Games and Assessment, Simulations, and Learning Futures. From the Institute of Play.
Course: Video Games and Learning Course

One of those exciting Google finds, this is a wiki from a course taught at Western Oregon University. Fantastic stuff here.

Community: Gameful, The Games for Change Collaborative

Just discovered the online community Gameful. Huge amount of information here, especially check out the webinars. Plus opportunities to interact with fellow game designers, developers, artists, and the like.


An obvious component of this post, but I can’t fill it in quite yet. It’s one of those instances where I need to publish this now or else I’ll put it off too long. In the mean time, check out these educational game reviews from the course above.