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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 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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