Tag Archives: games

Cognitivism and games

In this, the second part of my series on examining how learning theories relate to game play, I’m looking at the theory that suggests learning is dependent on mental capacity – cognitivism. Cognitivism replaced Behaviourism as the dominant learning paradigm in the 1960s[1]. Cognitive psychology proposes that learning comes from mental activity such as memory, […]

Behaviourism and Games

Recently I’ve been thinking about the relationship between Learning Theory and Game Design.  Clearly there are game mechanics that exploit particular learning traits and I thought it would be interesting to identify them. Researchers have long studied the way in which individuals learn.  Over the years, academics have proposed a number of theories to describe […]

Merry Christmas!

This will be my last post of the year: I’m looking forward to spending a few work-free days with my family over Christmas.  I hope that you will be having a break too. Play with Learning is one year old and I am delighted with how things have turned out over the last twelve months. […]

What Games are Good For?

In spite of my criticisms of many educational games, I believe passionately in the potential of games to inspire learning. I don’t think that games are a panacea but they do have many characteristics that can make a profoundly positive impact on our lives.  The real educational value for gaming lies in four key areas: […]

Educational games

Yesterday I spoke at BAF Games.  This is a summary of my ‘Play with Learning’ talk.  I have embedded links to supporting information into the post .  Sadly, I couldn’t capture the lively Q&A session afterwards. I made my first game as a young teenager – a board game so incomprehensibly complex and tedious, it only […]

Play & Games articles

There’s a lot of really interesting work going on with play and games – here are some of the articles that have caught my eye in the last couple weeks. Play Bring Back Play and Disorganized Sports to Our Children. From The Innovative Educator. http://j.mp/n8tCG3 ChicagoQuest promotes game-playing at school – Chicago Sun-Times http://j.mp/qU8zEk Parents’ […]

Beach games

During the summer I went to North Wales with the youth group I help lead. While we were away, we played lots of games. Not high-tech, computer-based games but real-world, physical games. It was a timely reminder to me that play, even for teenagers, does not always depend on bits and bytes but can happily […]

Play and games articles

Some of the articles about play and games that I have seen in the last few weeks. Theory Online Games & Interest-Driven Learning are Transformative for Today’s Young Learners by @constances http://htn.to/anmyvV Three Qualities That Make Video Games Better Teachers Than Teachers from EdReach http://j.mp/lNARUV Gamification time: What if everything were just a game? From […]


I’ve written a couple of posts already about motivation (the motivation to learn and motivational momentum) but today I want to explore some of the issues associated with that powerful driver: challenge. The ability to overcome some conflict is central to the engagement of most narrative experiences.  Similarly the level of challenge associated with any […]

What is a game?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been doing some thinking about the nature of games for the BBC.  With gamification the new hot idea and with it the attempt to apply game mechanics to just about every industry both online and real world, it felt like a good time to revisit the core concept of […]