Games and Transformational Play

Transformational play refers to a design theory for learning experiences proposed by Sasha Barab and colleagues. As learning experiences bring learners, academic content, and contexts together, designers utilize principles of transformational play to empower the learner as an agent in the learning process to make meaningful choices. These choices shape the content and context and also shape the learner’s own understanding, and the type of interactive play that emerges among the learner, content, and context is transformational, because all three are dynamically transformed together through the learner’s agency. Games are a medium of choice for such learning experiences because they allow for dynamic relationships among the three components and can effectively utilize narrative, agency, and goals to create engaging dilemmas. Unlike other approaches to design ...

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