Approaches to collaborative game-making for fostering 21st century skills

Susan Bermingham, Nathalie Charlier, Francesca Dagnino, James Duggan, Jeffrey Earp, Kristian Kiili, Evelien Luts, Lien Van Der Stock, Nicola Whitton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Many examples exist of the effective use of digital games for learning, both in the classroom and informally, for developing subject knowledge, skills (cognitive, (psycho)motor and psychodynamic), attitudes and behaviours. However, educational games are often limited in scope to the topic of the game itself and position learners as 'players' in the game space, rather than giving them control over the gaming environment. In fact, the increasing body of research literature suggests that making games could better address the needs of learners than just playing existing learning games. Collaborative game-making provides a model in which learners can work together to create something that is meaningful for them, giving them input into both the process and product, and facilitating the development of a range of 21CS (21CS), such as digital literacy. Intuitive digital game-making tools have become increasingly available in recent years, allowing students to directly access game-making environments and support the growth in use of collaborative game-making learning activities in schools. Making Games in Collaboration for Learning (MAGICAL) is an EU-funded project that aims to explore the use of collaborative game-making as a pedagogic model. It seeks to establish whether, and in what ways, the approach can support collaboration, problem-solving, creativity and digital literacy skills. This paper starts by considering the literature on digital game-making, particularly highlighting the benefits, drawbacks and research gaps. It then goes on to describe the MAGICAL project in more detail, particularly focusing on the way in which the 21CS can be defined, communicated to learners, and assessed. Next, the different approaches to collaborative game-making in the classroom are discussed. The paper concludes by highlighting lessons learned from the project so far, and presenting recommendations for collaborative game-making in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2013
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event7th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2013 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 3 Oct 20134 Oct 2013

Publication series

Name7th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2013


Conference7th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2013

Cite this