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Game-centric pedagogy and curriculums in higher education

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  • Rikke Toft Nørgård
  • John Murray, Stanford Research Institute International, United States
  • James Morgan, Stanford Research Institute International, United States
This paper examines some recent trends in game-centric education for STEAM (science, technology,engineering, art and mathematics) fields, especially those that explore and promote collaborationamong multiple disciplines. We discuss various multimodal design research activities that draw uponthe applications and usage of popular technical hackathons and game design jams in educationalenvironments. The intent of this work is to guide and inform new approaches to the corecomponents of STEAM curriculums.Game-centric methods appear to be well-suited to a variety of education and trainingcircumstances, particularly those that apply in transnational settings and/or serve highly diversestudent populations. The benefits extend beyond the direct game-building activity; for example, theprocess can promote broader design thinking skills and encourage better appreciation of the typicalunderstand-create-deliver flow process, which may be found in many different contexts. Other advantages can include the encouragement of critical thinking skills, the ability to safely tinker andexperiment, and the empowerment to fail and start over. In these respects, we view game-makingas a form of ‘future-making’, and thus a valuable vehicle for enhancing general education andlong-term life skills.We conclude by describing some opportunities to undertake qualitative and quantitative research on teams of participants in popular game development events, such as the multinational Global GameJam (GGJ) series. This process involves examining their background demographics, andcharacterizing the team dynamics and behaviors in the context of their game design anddevelopment activities during the game jam.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Institute of Social and Economic Sciences (IISES) : Proceedings of the 29th International Academic Conference, Rome
EditorsJiri Rotschedl, Klara Cermakova
Number of pages13
Place of publicationRom
Publication year2017
Article number25
ISBN (Electronic)978-80-87927-33-5
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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