Learning from gaming

There is increasing interest in the connections between games and education. When implemented as ‘edutainment’ or ‘gamification’ of learning, teaching practices can gain superficial elements of entertainment and reward. This may encourage learners to continue, however misses the power of digital games for engagement, reflection and self-regulation. New approaches of ‘intrinsic integration’ are linking the motivational elements of games with specific learning activities and outcomes, so that the game-play is both engaging and educationally effective. Game designers can achieve this by developing games with elements of challenge, personal control, fantasy, and curiosity that match the pedagogy. They can manipulate aspects of ‘flow’ (a player’s feeling of absorption in the game) and strategy to produce a productive cycle of engagement and reflection. The shared endeavours, goals and practices in games also help build affinity groups gathering learners into productive and self-organising communities..

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