Journal: New Issue of International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL)

International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL): Volume 1, Issue 2, April-June 2011

Official Publication of the Information Resources Management Association

Volume 1, Issue 2, April-June 2011

Published: Quarterly in Print and Electronically
ISSN: 2155-6849 EISSN: 2155-6857
Published by IGI Publishing, Hershey-New York, USA

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Patrick Felicia, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

Table of contents after the jump:

“Diversity, Design, and Possibility: Introduction to the GLS 6.0 Special Issue”
Sean C. Duncan, Miami University, USA
To read the preface, click on the link below, and then click “Preface.”

Leveraging Mobile Games for Place-Based Language Learning
Christopher Holden (University of New Mexico, USA)
Julie Sykes (University of New Mexico, USA)
This paper builds on the emerging body of research aimed at exploring the educational potential of mobile technologies, specifically, how to leverage place-based, augmented reality mobile games for language learning. Mentira is the first place-based, augmented reality mobile game for learning Spanish in a local neighborhood in the Southwestern United States. This paper explores both the complexities and benefits of integrating mobile games in second and foreign language learning contexts. Relevant background issues are discussed and the Mentira project is described, including an exploration of the setting, narrative, gameplay, and curriculum. Initial findings and future goals are explored. Gameplay, the importance of ’place’ for language learning, is discussed and the role of student buy-in. The paper concludes with future considerations for the continued use of mobile games projects for language learning as well as other disciplines.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

DataPlay: Experiments in the Ludic Age
Colleen Macklin (Parsons The New School for Design, USA)
DataPlay is a research project inspired by the concept of a “ludic age” (Chaplin & Zimmerman, 2008), where the challenges of extracting knowledge from the “data deluge” of the information age (Economist, 2010) are met with game-based approaches to information design. This paper examines Mannahatta: The Game in order to illustrate the issues involved in translating large datasets into games and game mechanics. The prescriptive work of Tufte (1983, 1990) regarding information visualization provides a conceptual framework and is applied to this paper. Tufte’s (1983, 1990) approach is convergent and divergent from the strategies uncovered in the research into games as ways to not just visualize, but directly experience data.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

Possibility Spaces: Using The Sims 2 as a Sandbox to Explore Possible Selves with At-Risk Teenage Males
Elizabeth King (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
Interactive technologies provide today’s youth a low stakes sandbox to collect experiences (Gee, 2004) and try tasks and identities (Gee, 1991) that push the boundaries of “known” and open up the world of possibility. Pairing affordances of video games with the possible selves framework (Markus & Nurius, 1986), research involved using The Sims 2 life-simulation properties to encourage a friendship group of teenage males to create simulations of their hoped for and feared potential selves. While all participants reported increased crystallization (Super, 1981) of characteristics within their hoped for future self, at the conclusion of the intervention most participants still demonstrated an imbalance between feared and hoped potential selves. This suggests the need for additional work in the area of vocational and academic asset exploration, as well as the need to connect the consideration of possible self actualization to believable and realizable action plans.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

Affordances and Constraints of Scaffolded Learning in a Virtual World for Young Children
Rebecca Black (University of California, Irvine, USA)
Stephanie Reich (University of California, Irvine, USA)
In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of virtual worlds aimed at populations between the ages of 6 to14 years. This article examines the content and design of one such site, Webkinz World, as a sociocultural context for informal learning. Focusing on the design and activities of this site sheds light on the ways in which Webkinz World supports learning, especially for nascent users, and the apparent limits of these support structures as users gain more expertise.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

Collaborative Strategic Board Games as a Site for Distributed Computational Thinking
Matthew Berland (University of Texas at San Antonio, USA)
Victor Lee (Utah State University, USA)
This paper examines the idea that contemporary strategic board games represent an informal, interactional context in which complex computational thinking takes place. When games are collaborative – that is, a game requires that players work in joint pursuit of a shared goal — the computational thinking is easily observed as distributed across several participants. This raises the possibility that a focus on such board games are profitable for those who wish to understand computational thinking and learning in situ. This paper introduces a coding scheme, applies it to the recorded discourse of three groups of game players, and provides qualitative examples of computational thinking that are observed and documented in Pandemic. The primary contributions of this work are the description of and evidence that complex computational thinking can develop spontaneously during board game play.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

Forming The Guild: Star Power and Rethinking Projective Identity In Affinity Spaces
Elizabeth Ellcessor (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
Sean Duncan (Miami University, USA)
This paper expands on Gee’s (2004) notion of “affinity spaces” by placing them in the context of games, media stars, and their fans and combining cultural studies and new literacies approaches. The Guild, a web series about the misadventures of MMO-players, written by and starring actor, writer, producer, and gamer Felicia Day, is examined. On, fans of The Guild enact literacy practices, particularly those that align with Day’s activities and star persona, such as media production and critique. These literacy practices are constrained by the limitations of projective identity in the context of star-based affinity spaces. Taking on projective identities within The Guild’s affinity space, individuals are faced with the impossibility of fully achieving the star’s – Day’s – successful identity as simultaneously gamer and media producer. The imbalance in cultural power allows the professionally manufactured star image to remain forever unattainable. This paper proposes reconsidering projective identity to move beyond the affinity space to develop one’s own sense of mastery outside the context of star-based fandom.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.


Mission of IJGBL:

The mission of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) is to promote knowledge pertinent to the design of Game-Based Learning environments, and to provide relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings in the field of Game-Based Learning. The main goals of IJGBL are to identify, explain, and improve the interaction between learning outcomes and motivation in video games, and to promote best practices for the integration of video games in instructional settings. The journal is multidisciplinary and addresses cognitive, psychological and emotional aspects of Game-Based Learning. It discusses innovative and cost-effective Game-Based Learning solutions. It also provides students, researchers, instructors, and policymakers with valuable information in Game-Based Learning, and increases their understanding of the process of designing, developing and deploying successful educational games. IJGBL also identifies future directions in this new educational medium.


Topics to be discussed in this journal include (but are not limited to) the following:

* Adaptive games design for Game-Based Learning
* Design of educational games for people with disabilities
* Educational video games and learning management systems
* Game design models and design patterns for Game-Based Learning
* Instructional design for Game-Based Learning
* Integration and deployment of video games in the classroom
* Intelligent tutoring systems and Game-Based Learning
* Learning by designing and developing video games
* Learning styles, behaviors and personalities in educational video games
* Mobile development and augmented reality for Game-Based Learning
* Motivation, audio and emotions in educational video games
* Role of instructors
* Virtual worlds and Game-Based Learning

Interested authors should consult the journal’s manuscript submission guidelines at

All inquiries and submissions should be sent to:

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Patrick Felicia at

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