Research in Learning Technology has just published an open-access paper by Sam Illingworth, Paul Wake and me on the use of tabletop games as a learning technology. You can find it here.

In our article, we use Keith Baker’s Gloom to explore the nature of games and play in education, comparing the physical, collaborative and adaptable aspects of tabletop games to their digital counterparts, and arguing that tabletop games should be considered as a complementary technology to digital games.

The article appears in a special themed collection from the 2017 Playful Learning Conference, and our thoughts are based partly on Paul and Sam’s session at this conference. We gathered contributions from conference attendees, who played Gloom and engaged in discussion around their definitions of games and play. Other papers in the collection cover the use of Twitter as a disruptive playful conference tool and how to transform staff training through the use of games.

Registration is still open for Playful Learning 2018, which is being held at Manchester Metropolitan University on 11th-13th July. It’s a playful space to share new ideas in adult education, and the line-up looks really exciting this year, so I’d really encourage you to join us!

John Lean