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Constructionist Gaming: Understanding the Benefits of Making Games for Learning

Abstract

"There has been considerable interest in examining the educational potential of playing video games. One crucial element, however, has traditionally been left out of these discussions--namely, children's learning through making their own games. In this article, we review and synthesize 55 studies from the last decade on making games and learning. We found that the majority of studies focused on teaching coding and academic content through game making, and that few studies explicitly examined the roles of collaboration and identity in the game making process. We argue that future discussions of serious gaming ought to be more inclusive of constructionist approaches to realize the full potential of serious gaming. Making games, we contend, not only more genuinely introduces children to a range of technical skills but also better connects them to each other, addressing the persistent issues of access and diversity present in traditional digital gaming cultures."

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