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An academic home for play: games as unifying influences in higher education

Danielle Herro (Clemson University)
Rebecca Clark (Clemson University)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 8 February 2016

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1084

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address opportunities and tensions when creating game-based learning practices in higher education. By detailing examples from a university in the Southeastern USA and the communities it serves, we suggest game-based research and learning be approached as a unifying influence adaptable across contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

We use a working example methodology where someone with expertise “works through” a well-known issue while making the thinking overt. In this manner, we reveal processes, successes and challenges infusing game-based learning in higher education to deepen understanding between fields and encourage research and practice with games across disciplines.

Findings

The working example demonstrates that games served as a unifying influence in three primary ways, which included redesigning courses and implementing programmatic changes; using existing programs to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research; and increasing outreach and partnerships. In each example, games served to strengthen or support the initiatives.

Originality/value

This paper extends literature on the value of games to promote research and learning. Significantly, it provides an example for others in game-based learning fields to consider when building similar programs in higher education.

Keywords

Citation

Herro, D. and Clark, R. (2016), "An academic home for play: games as unifying influences in higher education", On the Horizon, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-08-2015-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited