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Journal Article

The Playful and Reflective Game Designer  pp271-280

Gunver Majgaard

© Jun 2014 Volume 12 Issue 3, Special Edition for ECGBL 2013, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho and Paula Escudeiro, pp227 - 311

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Abstract

Abstract: A group of first‑semester engineering students participated in a game design course. The aim of the course was to learn how to design computer games and programming skills by creating their own games, thereby applying their game‑playing experien ces to gain knowledge about game design. The aim was for students to develop a more critically reflective perspective on video games and game design. In applying their game experiences, they developed their own digital prototypes and participated in refl ective discussions on the concept of games: what makes them interesting and how they are constructed. The students used the GameMaker programming tool, which can be used without any prior programming knowledge. The tool allows for the easy development of 2D game prototypes.The didactic approach was based on play as a lever for the design process, and on constructionistic and reflective learning philosophies. Playing games constituted an integral element of the design process; new code added to the program was tested by playing the game. The students were constantly alternating between playing and adding and revising code. The learning environment where games were played and developed could be considered to be a sandbox where experimentation was a motivati onal factor for the students, as they could make mistakes and try out creative ideas. Although the constructionistic learning approach promoted creative and innovative learning, it did not develop competencies in articulation and analysis. The aim was for students to reflect on games in order to promote explicit knowledge. Based on the theory, we consider retrospective reflective discussions in the classroom and their programming experiences reinforced the learning process. In summary, we present the stud ents' first progression from native consumers in the game world to becoming reflective designers. Along their journey, they developed a reflective practice and an understanding of the profession they were entering. The article also throws light on the ver y dynamic and fruitful relationship that ex

 

Keywords: Keywords: Learning, play, constructionism, reflection, game-based learning, game design, serious games, university pedagogy

 

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Journal Article

Learning via Game Design: From Digital to Card Games and Back Again  pp167-180

Emanuela Marchetti, Andrea Valente

© Mar 2015 Volume 13 Issue 3, ECGBL 2014, Editor: Busch-Steinicke, pp149 - 206

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Abstract

Abstract: In this paper we consider the problem of making design of digital games accessible to primary school children and their teachers, and we argue for the need of digital games that are easy to alter by young learners. We know from previous research projects that digital games do not enable children to express their creativity at full, in contrast with low‑fidelity prototypes and non‑digital toys (such as card or table top games). Therefore, we propose here a novel approach that serves as a middle ground between digital and traditional table top games, and grants children more freedom to express themselves, articulate their understanding and difficulties both individually and socially. This approach, called card‑based model for digital game design , is an alternative to the current trend of associating programming with digital creativity. A preliminary study was conducted by transposing a digital game into a trading card game, to investigate the potential of the approach: as expected, students part icipating to the study shifted between playing and design thinking. The card‑based model introduced in this paper works full circle: it enables learners to go from digital games to cards and back. In fact, the card‑centric game architecture that resulted from the study allows a digital game to be reified as trading card‑game, so that learners can re‑design and digitize it to obtain a new a digital game, without programming. The next step is to involve primary schools in more complete evaluations of our ne w game development approach.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Learning, game design, card games, playful play, knowledge transposition, group creativity

 

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Journal Article

Exploring the Relation between the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Games For the Purpose of Player‑Centred Game Design  pp320-334

Pejman Sajjadi, Joachim Vlieghe, Olga De Troyer

© Aug 2017 Volume 15 Issue 4, Editor: Elizabeth Boyle and Thomas Connolly, pp281 - 366

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Abstract

A large body of research work demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of adapting a learning game to its players. This process is driven by understanding the differences between individuals in terms of abilities and preferences. One of the rather interesting but least explored approaches for understanding individual differences among learners is Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). Gardner suggests that people exhibit multiple dimensions of intelligence or abilities. In the literature, it is suggested that people with different types of intellectual strengths (intelligences) often exhibit clear preferences toward specific modalities and types of interaction and content in relation to learning. This raises the question whether this knowledge could be transferred and employed in adapting learning games to players, more in particular for the purpose of improving the game and/or learning experience, as well as the learning outcome of the players. Although various claims regarding the existence of a relationship between MI and games have been made, none of them are substantiated with empirical evidence. This paper presents the results of an empirical study that has led to evidence‑based mappings between the different dimensions of intelligences proposed in MI and the fundamental building blocks of games, i.e. game mechanics. These mappings indicate which game mechanics suit which MI dimensions, and can therefore act as design guidelines when designing games targeting people exhibiting dominance for specific MI dimensions. A tool that visualizes these mappings and facilitates their use in the design of such player‑centred (learning) games is also presented.

 

Keywords: Multiple intelligences; Game preferences; Game mechanics; Evidence-based; Game design; Learning games

 

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Journal Article

Co‑Creativity through Play and Game Design Thinking  pp184-198

Sylvester Arnab, Samantha Clarke, Luca Morini

© Sep 2019 Volume 17 Issue 3, Editor: Melanie Ciussi and Margarida Romero, pp173 - 233

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Abstract

This article discusses the application of game design thinking as a learning process for scaffolding co‑creativity in Higher Education based on the GameChangers initiative (gamify.org.uk) part‑funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE). Taking into account the relationship between play, technology and learning, the game design thinking approach fully embraces and accommodates for the creation and development of games of any typology (board games, card games, digital games, etc.) and playful solutions (gamified products) as freely chosen by the learners, aligning with the importance of autonomy, relatedness and purpose in motivating learners to be deeply engaged in the process. Through this process, learners are expected to gain valuable knowledge in creative and collaborative problem solving and experience game design and development process towards addressing real challenges and opportunities in their communities. The focus of the process is on the creative process rather than the end products/solutions produced by the learners. The paper will specifically discuss the methodology and findings from an experimental module developed based on the approach involving four cohorts of Level two undergraduate students (n=122, 2017‑2019). The students came from the different schools and faculties at Coventry University, UK. Based on the qualitative feedback and reflections collected through the Module Evaluation Questionnaire (MEQ) and the final reflection pieces, the co‑creative process inspired by play and games demonstrates that through the process, students discover the importance of elements such as empathy, purpose, meaning, art, creativity and teamwork in their learning regardless of the specific disciplines they are pursuing.

 

Keywords: co-creativity, playful learning, game-based learning, game design, higher education

 

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Journal Article

Assessment of Co‑Creativity in the Process of Game Design  pp199-206

Margarida Romero, Sylvester Arnab, Cindy De Smet, Fitri Mohamad, Jacey-Lynn Minoi, L. Morini

© Sep 2019 Volume 17 Issue 3, Editor: Melanie Ciussi and Margarida Romero, pp173 - 233

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Abstract

We consider game design as a sociocultural and knowledge modelling activity, engaging participants in the design of a scenario and a game universe based on a real or imaginary socio‑historical context, where characters can introduce life narratives and interaction that display either known social realities or entirely new ones. In this research, participants of the co‑creation activity are Malaysian students who were working in groups to design game‑based learning resources for rural school children. After the co‑creativity activity, the students were invited to answer the co‑creativity scale, an adapted version of the Assessment Scale of Creative Collaboration (ASCC), combining both the co‑creativity factors and learners’ experiences on their interests, and difficulties they faced during the co‑creativity process. The preliminary results showed a high diversity on the participants’ attitudes towards collaboration, especially related to their preferences towards individual or collaborative work.

 

Keywords: game-based learning, game design, creativity, co-creativity process, collaboration

 

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Journal Article

The Gameplay Loop Methodology as a Tool for Educational Game Design  pp207-221

André Czauderna, Emmanuel Guardiola

© Sep 2019 Volume 17 Issue 3, Editor: Melanie Ciussi and Margarida Romero, pp173 - 233

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Abstract

The field of game design for educational content lacks a focus on methodologies that merge gameplay and learning. Existing methodologies typically fall short in three ways: they neglect the unfolding of gameplay through players’ actions over a short period of time as a significant unit of analysis; they lack a common consideration of game and learning mechanics; and they falsely separate the acts of playing and learning. This paper recommends the gameplay loop methodology as a valuable tool for educational game design, as it addresses these major shortcomings. Furthermore, this paper outlines how this methodology can be supported by knowledge from subject‑specific didactics—considering both the curriculum and its mediation (contributed by experts from educational practice) as well as methods of player‑centered design—in order to ensure the appropriateness of learning objectives and techniques of mediation in the context of a particular field of knowledge, the game’s appeal to its target group, and the effectiveness of the learning mechanics. A case study of the design and production phases of Antura and the Letters, a literacy game for Arabic refugee children, illustrates the uses of the gameplay loop methodology situated in the described broader approach to educational game design. Finally, this paper explains the results of an impact study revealing that the approach indeed provides the opportunity to merge playing and learning.

 

Keywords: serious games, educational games, instructional design, game design, gameplay loop, player-centered design

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 4 / Aug 2017  pp281‑366

Editor: Elizabeth Boyle, Thomas Connolly

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Editorial

 

Keywords: Sign Language; American Sign Language; Recognition System; Kinect; Expert System; Game-Based Learning; Knowledge Engineering, Visual programming, Education, Computational thinking, K-12, Lightbot, Scratch, Microgames, learning, gender, culture, Multiple intelligences; Game preferences; Game mechanics; Evidence-based; Game design; Learning games, Collaboration, problem solving, online assessment, log stream data, measurement, e-learning, Educational Video Games; TAM (Technology Acceptance Model); Higher Education; Behavioural intention; Age

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 17 Issue 3 / Sep 2019  pp173‑233

Editor: Melanie Ciussi, Margarida Romero

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Keywords: play-to-engage, participatory co-creation, indigenous community engagement, culture, co-creativity, playful learning, game-based learning, game design, higher education, game-based learning, game design, creativity, co-creativity process, collaboration, serious games, educational games, instructional design, game design, gameplay loop, player-centered design, community-driven research, urban development, citizen science

 

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