Making sense of game-play: how can we examine learning and involvement?

Iacovides, Ioanna; Aczel, James; Scanlon, Eileen and Woods, William (2011). Making sense of game-play: how can we examine learning and involvement? In: Proceedings of DiGRA 2011 Conference: Think Design Play..

URL: http://www.digra.org/wp-content/uploads/digital-li...

Abstract

It has been argued that there is a need for more “rigorous research into what players do with games (particularly those that don’t claim explicit status as educational), and a better understanding of the thinking that is involved in playing them.” (Squire, 2008, p.167). This paper introduces a set of methods developed to explore these issues via a multiple case study approach, including; game-play observation, cued post-play interview, the collection of physiological data and the use of gaming diaries over a three week period. An examination of the strengths and limitations of the approach adopted is presented with reference to two particular methodological issues (i) how to identify breakdowns and breakthroughs that occur during game-play; (ii) how to identify learning occurring beyond game-play. The paper will conclude by emphasising the importance of taking both micro and macro level experiences into account when it comes to capturing learning and involvement within this context.

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