Monday, 12 January 2015

PhD Journal Articles

I'm pleased to announce I now have two more papers published on my PhD research. The first article, "Game-Play Breakdowns and Breakthroughs: Exploring the Relationship Between Action, Understanding and Involvement" is in Human Computer Interaction and focuses on the case studies I carried out how they resulted in a theory of the relationship between learning and involvement within the context of games. The theory is represented as a set of 14 claims that relate to: micro and macro involvement; breakdowns and breakthroughs in action, understanding and involvement; progress; and agency, meaning and compelling game-play. In particular, the paper emphasises the ways in which players experience learning via breakthroughs in understanding, where involvement is increased when the player feels responsible for progress. We also argue that supporting the relationship between learning and involvement is vital for ensuring the success of commercial and educational games. (You can also find out a bit more about the methods I used in my 2013 DiGRA journal paper: "Making sense of game-play: How can we examine learning and involvement").

The second article, "The Gaming Involvement and Informal Learning Framework" is in Simulation & Gaming and provides a good overview of the three studies I carried out in and also presents the GIIL framework as the culmination of all my findings. Essentially, the framework is able to account for both how and what people learn from gaming while also highlighting the influence of player identity. Further, the iterative relationship between identity, involvement and learning is emphasised: the more strongly someone identifies themselves as a gamer, the greater their micro and macro-level involvement and the more likely they are to learn from their gaming experiences. This is represented in the figure below (taken from my PhD thesis and also reprinted within the article).

Technically these articles are still in press but both journals have put them up online before print. It's great to have them out there and see all that hard work come together :-)