Learning Through Play – A Delicate Matter: Experience-Based Recursive Learning in Computer Games

  • Konstantin Mitgutsch


In the last several years, the debate on learning through digital games has reached a new quality on an interdisciplinary level. Computer games with an educational approach have managed to awaken the interests of the game industry, politicians, educators, and players. It is argued that computer games are a constructive tool to foster learning and to motivate learners. However, it remains basically uncharted which pathway experience takes within the playful learning process. While in present-day investigations learning is mostly understood as an act of acquiring knowledge and information, the following chapter will outline a novel but essential understanding of learning through play. It will be shown that “negative experiences,” such as irritations, failures, and disillusionments, enable learners to foster deep learning experiences. By referring to an educational and phenomenological understanding of experience-based learning, a concept of circular and recursive learning will be examined. Based on these educational investigations on learning, it will be outlined how deep and recursive processes of experiencing and learning proceed and how they affect our future research on learning in computer games.


Computer Game Negative Instance Educational Game Digital Game Transformative Learning 
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 Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game LabMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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