Games, as rule-based systems, could model our worlds. Learners engage with the representations of our worlds when using games. In the realm of learning sciences, the integration of game play and design has emerged as a captivating subject of inquiry.
Distinguished from mere game play, Play (Re)Design & Learn Group extends the research into the realm of collaborative board game (re)designs. We believe that (re)designing board games can open novel opportunities for learners not only to comprehend the intricate structures of existing games but also to venture into imagining and crafting meaningful contexts for play, i.e., learners' own (re)designed games. Through design and conducting research projects in real-world learning settings, we explore the emergent processes of learning and the different forms of learners' collaborative (re)design as structured but playful practices. We study how such learning projects, based on a (re)design approach, could engage learners in critical, deeper, and complex disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices.
Our work is informed by sociocultural theories of learning, design theories, and complexity research. The Play (Re)Design & Learn Group explores how our game (re)design learning approach in relation to these theories develop our understanding of its potentials based on the findings of our past and on-going research projects. Based on our experience in these projects and our theorization of the notion of (re)design, we present tools for pursuing a learning project with a game (re)design approach.
We invite you to explore our research projects and publications at playredesignlearn.com and investigate the potentials of using a game (re)design approach in your studies and practice. We appreciate your feedback and ideas concerning the past and potential projects and avenues to advance this approach.
*The above picture shows a third grade students who is playing their own redesigned game. They created this game using ideas from the board game "Inversé" and the Chinese game "Go" ("Weiqi").