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SIG Update: Games and Learning Special Interest Group

The ALT Special Interest Group in Games and Learning (GLSIG) was established in October 2010 as a community for anyone interested in the potential of games for learning, particularly in the context of Further and Higher Education. We are interested in the design, use and evaluation of games in practice, and the academic study of games and play, and their potential contributions to learning. We also hope to provide opportunities for members to experiment with game-based techniques as part of the SIG activity.

The GLSIG undertakes a range of activities including regular meetings (face-to-face and online), creation of resources for the wider community (with a wiki and white paper currently in development), development of project funding proposals, and discussion (around, for example, the regular ‘game of the month’ and ‘book of the month’).

The aims of the group are to:

  • share research evidence and experiential practice in the area of games and learning;
  • provide a forum for discussion and collaboration to support the development of outputs such as journal articles, practitioner guidance, seminars, and research proposals; and
  • create a supportive community for new practitioners and researchers in the field as well as those who are more established.

The primary areas of interest of the Special Interest Group are the use of all types of games, digital and traditional, online and real world; the practice, as well as the theory, of games and learning; and the use of games with adults, in formal and informal contexts.

The last face-to-face meeting was held in Edinburgh in November and included a World of Warcraft introduction (from Hamish McLeod, Fiona Littleton and Clara O’Shea from the University of Edinburgh) as well as an introduction to open badges thanks to a tutorial from Juliette Culver of the Open University. In addition to the fun and games, there was lots of discussion, planning of future events and activities, and collaborative writing such as articles, funding bids, and particularly on the SIG White Paper, describing the current position of the field from the perspective of the group, which is currently in development. As always, cake played a crucial role in the proceedings.

We aim to be inclusive and supportive, and are always keen to have new members. You can find out more about the SIG by:

  • Having a look at the SIG network
  • Contacting Nicola Whitton (n (dot) whitton (at) mmu (dot) ac (dot) uk) or Alex Moseley (alex (dot) moseley (at) Leicester (dot) ac (dot) uk).

Nicola Whitton, Manchester Metropolitan University
Alex Moseley, University of Leicester

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member

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