“This is a really funny game” - Children making games for each other in a school context.

Helle Marie Skovbjerg

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


This paper wants to explore how making games, trying them out and showing them to others can be used as learning material in a formal learning context (Papert, 1980, Ejsing-Duun & Skovbjerg, 2016, Karoff, 2013b). By using a framework of theories coming from play study it becomes clear how children can work across arenas while making, trying and showing their games to others, and how teachers value their playfulness within schools (Ejsing-Duun & Skovbjerg, 2015). The paper is based on a large research project called “Children as learning Designers in a Digital School” (2013-2015) funded by Denmark´s Ministry of Education. The study includes fieldwork in five Danish public schools, involving about 500 students and it is based on six interventions in first, second, fifth, sixth and tenth grades. The empirical data of the paper consists of observations, participatory observations and game productions created during the observations (Levinsen et. al. 2013). The paper presents an analysis of how students are producing learning material as games during two interventions in the research project. The study is based on a specific understanding of games and playing activities: First, for playing and creating games one needs knowledge of the game genre, the game rules, the game practices and the game spaces (Karoff, 2013a). Secondly, you try them out, finding out whether they are working properly or not. You learn about the game while you are playing it (Karoff, 2013a). The paper presents the following main results: i) When children are creating games in a learning context they use a great repertoire of knowledge of games (Ejsing-Duun et al. 2013). ii) Combining knowledge from both formal and informal learning contexts supports combinations between them (Sørensen et al., 2011). iii) Using a broad repertoire of knowledge of games in a formal learning context made the teachers qualify and value knowledge of games in informal learning contexts (Ejsing-Duun & Karoff, 2016). Form this point of view it is possible to understand how children´s playing activities can be used within and supported by school as material with learning quality and meaningful value to the children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th European Conference on Game Based Learning : ECGBL 2016
EditorsI C. Busch
Publication date8 Oct 2016
ISBN (Print)978‐1‐911218‐09‐8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2016
Event10th European Conference on Games Based Learning - Paisley, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Oct 20167 Oct 2016
Conference number: 10


Conference10th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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