I finally received my personal copies last week and it is great to see your hard work in a tangible form. I hope that those who have had the chance to read the book in a physical or digital copy have found it useful. Feel free to contact me for any questions.
The book heavily emphasises on the ‘remixing’ of play and games as inspirations for designing and creating experiences that are intended for educational purposes. It goes beyond the mere application of games and gameplay in teaching and learning into the exploration of how we can empower anyone to take inspirations from the engaging and experiential nature of games and gameplay. Games promote exploration, problem-solving, creative strategy, and the tenacity to keep on improving your competencies/abilities amongst other benefits as you traverse through a game world and gameplay.
How do we then map gameplay elements against the learning that we wish to happen (activities, tasks, reflections, actions, etc.)? The book discusses existing and on-going work in the mapping of pedagogical constructs against gameplay, and the motivational aspects, such as autonomy. There is a need to expand our work in the use of games and game-like activities in education into the investigations into what part of the games and gameplay that affords educational experiences and outcomes to happen and be achieved respectively.
The rigour of the design process of games and game-like activities for learning is often in question due to the lack of studies that are offering insights into why and how are games and gameplay effective on a granular design level. The challenge includes the inherent incongruities between game design and pedagogy, where the multifaceted nature of purposeful game design complicates the ‘balancing’ process of “gameful” and “serious”. Högberg et al. (2019) suggest that “there is no point in gamifying if the aim is not to achieve a gameful experience” acknowledging that “the gameful experience is a mediator between the motivational affordances of the gamified solution and the targeted behavioural outcome” (p. 622).
The book suggests that for an understanding of the “gameful” mechanisms that cause serious outcomes to occur, we need to look more closely at the relationship between the multi-dimensional aspects. The mapping of learning onto gameplay, for instance, is essential for informing the types of engagement and interaction we wish to design and formulate. Game mechanics also tap into motivation – how learners are encouraged or prompted to engage with the learning contents through the medium of games.
The relationships between game design, the motivational, and peda/andra-gogy aspects should be analysed towards evidencing how and why games and gameplay are effective in motivating engagement and causing certain habit, behaviour, and learning to be nurtured. We need to reflect on such a multi-dimensional and faceted process and map the different aspects towards developing a unity of insights and evidence of what part of the experiences facilitate serious outcomes to happen.
How can we improve the rigour of remixing games and gameplay for education? Anyone interested to do a PhD on this? 🙂 Let me know. The book, I hope, has started or perhaps re-ignited this important discourse towards providing a pedagogically-informed methodology for increasing educator-driven design and development of game-based resources for teaching and learning.
Parts of the book including Chapter 1 is available for preview.
How to cite the book:
Arnab, S. (2020). Game Science in Hybrid Learning Spaces (1 ed.). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315295053
“This book provides valuable insights and discussions into the engaging and pervasive nature of games and gameplay, and how hybrid education that breaks the barriers of space and time can benefit from the science and practice of games – i.e. the use of games as instruments for teaching and learning and also the use of game creation as a hybrid educational process.” Ian Livingstone, CBE, Foreword
Högberg, J., Hamari, J. and Wästlund, E. (2019). User Model User-Adap Inter, 29 (619). doi: 10.1007/s11257-019-09223-w.