Expansive Genres of Play: Getting Serious About Game Genres for the Design of Future Learning Environments

  • Brad Mehlenbacher
  • Christopher Kampe


Game studies researchers have struggled with definitions of genre, defaulting to definitions that highlight game content and interaction differences. These categorizations focus on the feature-based nature of games and are not particularly useful for educational researchers interested in how games facilitate co-production and sharing among peers. A rhetorical conception of genre broadens our understanding of games, such that they become aspects of an environment and community where player participation and learning occur. The authors offer a description of one game that works as an exemplar in its dynamic engagement of players in building narrative objects (i.e. paratexts) that extend and co-produce an engaging learning world: This War of Mine. Ultimately the authors suggest that expansive play-learning can occur around games and within their genre ecologies.


Game Play Dynamic Engagement Game World Expansive Learning Game Scholar 
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

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brad Mehlenbacher
    • 1
  • Christopher Kampe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human DevelopmentNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NCUSA
  2. 2.Program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital MediaNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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