Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Advance One Space: Instructional Game Design as the Next Move for Composition and Game Studies




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Game studies in composition studies has been largely dominated by both video games and the explorations of their related literacies. While these are important areas of inquiry, they limit the appeal of game studies for a larger audience of writing instructors and theorists. I would argue that instructional game design, rather than the use of games-as-texts, is a more welcoming and broader avenue into this field. Game studies research on game design is readily applicable to the work we are already doing in our classrooms, and does not require that teachers have a background or interest in digital gaming. Given that teachers of writing have long employed active learning and collaborative class activities, the move towards classroom game design is a natural next step. My presentation will begin with a case for the advantages of games over other active learning strategies, followed by a short review of how different game attributes have been shown to influence learning. While instructors may worry that writing's level of nuance does not readily lend itself to games, I'll show how recent scholarship demonstrates that classroom games can both accommodate and illuminate the complexities of a writer's task. Game studies scholars such as David Crookhall have been exploring how post-game debriefing can solidify shared learning experiences, and I'll discuss how these findings apply to designing games for the composition classroom. My overall goal for the presentation will be to encourage and empower writing instructors to design their own games.

Conference Name

Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication

Conference Location

St. Louis, Missouri

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