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Gaming and Affinity Spaces

Since the early 2000s, there has been an increasing study of games in educational contexts. While games have been designed for educational purposes for some time, it is only recently that educational research has come to accept games as an important means by which educators can create environments for learning.

Games scholars Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire divide the gaming research literature into four categories: (1) “games as content,” (2) “games as bait,” (3) “games as assessment,” and (4) “games as architectures of engagement.” For the first three, they argue that games serve as useful ways to promote something else of educational import—for “content,” it was to deliver content experiences; for “bait,” it was to drive engagement and interest in a topic area; and for “assessment,” ...

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