What Is It About Games?

  • Katrin Becker
Part of the Advances in Game-Based Learning book series (AGBL)


Entire volumes have been written that are devoted to exploring what games are and yet we still have no definitive statement on the meaning of the word “game.” You will find almost as many definitions of “game” as there are authors writing about it. There are some common elements though, and this chapter uses those to define what we mean by “game.” In order to make effective use of games in the classroom we need to be able to choose appropriate games to use in our lessons. Evaluation is a key element of the development of instruction, and when using games, it is important to be able to assess its potential suitability before it goes into the classroom. We can do that using predictive evaluation, which is introduced here. Next we trace a brief history of games in society as well as in education, as games have been part of human society since ancient times, and there is evidence to suggest that one of the roles of games has always been learning. We’ve come a long way in our development of games, though digital games are more than a simple evolution of non-digital games, and the differences are outlined. The chapter concludes with a few more definitions so that we can all start on the same page.


Computer Game Educational Game Digital Game Simulation Game Predictive Evaluation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrin Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Royal UniversityCalgaryCanada

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