Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning

What books have you read for game-based learning? Which one would you like to recommend for others? Here is a list of the most mentioned books in articles of game-based learning. Part of this list refers to the selection by “Level Up Book Club” – an online book club with special interest on game-based learning or gamification. Please add your favorite book if it’s not in this post, add in the comment or tweet this post along with your recommendation. We’ll grow this list according to your suggestion.

game-based learningWhat Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition

Game-based learning has gained considerable traction since 2003, when James Gee began to describe the impact of game play on cognitive development. In the book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee derives a set of learning principles(The 36 Learning Principles) from his study of the complex, self-directed learning each game player undertakes as s/he encounters and masters a new game. He suggests that adherence to these principles could transform learning in schools, colleges and universities, both for teachers and faculty and, most importantly, for students.

Good Video Games and Good Learning (New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies)

digital game-based learning

Good Video Games and Good Learning is packed with deep insight about games and learning. If you are creating games or studying them, if you are using games to educate or just want a sneak peek at the future of learning, then you must read this book.
Gee doesn t focus on educational games, he shows how any good game is a context for learning–and conversely, what educators can learn from games. His aim is not to tell teachers how to teach, or to tell game creators how to make better games–but instead to bridge the gap between the two. In doing so, Gee presents essential ideas about game design and game experience, cognition and pleasure, and learning both in and out of the classroom–all with the playful rigor and clear thinking we have come to expect from this eminent scholar (and expert player) of games.
If you read one book on games and learning this year, read Good Video Games and Good Learning. It will change the way you think about–and play–games. –Eric Zimmerman, Co-Founder & CEO, Gamelab

Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age (Technology, Education–Connections)

digital game based learningThe author Kurt Squire is creative director & sr. research scientist at the Morgridge Institue of Research, an associate professor of Educational Communications and Technology, co-director of the Games+Learning+Society Initiative, and vice president of the Learning Games Network, a non-profit network expanding the role of games and learning.

Can we learn socially and academically valuable concepts and skills from video games? How can we best teach the ”gamer generation?” This accessible book describes how educators and curriculum designers can harness the participatory nature of digital media and play. The author presents a comprehensive model of games and learning that integrates analysis of games, games cultures, and educational game design. Building on over 10 years of research, Kurt Squire tells the story of the emerging field of immersive digitally mediated learning environments (or games) and outlines the future of education.

The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education

game-based learningThe author Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D., CFPIM, CIRM, is a scholar, writer and expert on the convergence of learning, technology and business operations. His background teaching e-learning classes, knowledge of adult learning theory, and experience training CEOs and front line staff provides him with a unique perspective on organizational learning.

Thie book explains how to match different game strategies to types of learning content for the right learning outcome and discusses how gamification techniques can be used in a variety of settings to improve learning, retention and application of knowledge. Supported by peer-reviewed studies and examples from corporations who have adopted game-based learning successfully, the book illustrates how combining instructional design thinking with game concepts can create engaged and interactive learning experiences across a variety of media, from online to face-to-face.

Digital Game-Based Learning

gamification of education, gamify learningThe author Marc Prensky focuses on education from the perspective of the students, rather than the providers, offering solutions for how to teach and motivate today’s students and for how to motivate and reinvigorate their teachers as well. Prensky promotes a new form of “partnering” between teachers and students.

Today’s workforce is quicker, sharper, more visually oriented, and more technology-savvy than ever. To truly benefit from the Digital Natives’ learning power and enthusiasm, traditional training methods must adapt to the way people learn today. Written by the founder of Games2train, this innovative book is filled with examples and information to meet the demands of both educators and employers.

Marc Prensky has more publications on game-based learning, which are based on his understanding of how school-age digital natives learn and how to place good video games into a learning system.

Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning
Don’t Bother Me Mom–I’m Learning!

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

gamification , video gameThe author Jane McGonigal, PhD is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. She believes game designers are on a humanitarian mission — and her #1 goal in life is to see a game developer win a Nobel Peace Prize.

With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds.

The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game

gamification of education , gamify learningThe author Lee Sheldon is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has written and designed over 20 commercial video games and MMOs. His book Character Development and Storytelling for Games is required reading at many game developers and in game design programs at some of the world’s most distinguished universities. A new edition will be published in 2012. Lee is a contributor to several additional books on video games including Well-Played 2.0 from Carnegie-Mellon’s ETC, Writing for Video Game Genres from the IGDA, Game Design: An Interactive Experience and Second Person.

This book is your detailed guide to designing any structured learning experience as a game. Written for professional educators or those learning to be educators, here are the tools to engage and excite students by using principles learned in the development of popular video games. You don’t need any experience making games or even playing games to use this book. Yet, you will learn how to create multiplayer games for any age on any subject. Bring your classroom into the 21st century! (Adrian Camm wrote a post about what he thought about the approach : The Multiplayer Classroom.)

Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps

gamification, gamify learningGabe Zichermann is an author, public speaker, serial entrepreneur, and the foremost expert on the subject of gamification. His book, Game-Based Marketing (Wiley, 4/2010) has achieved critical and industry acclaim for its detailed look at innovators who blend the power of games with brand strategy. Zichermann is also the author of the Gamification Blog at and chair of the Gamification Summit and Workshops.

What do Foursquare, Zynga, Nike+, and Groupon have in common? These and many other brands use gamification to deliver a sticky, viral, and engaging experience to their customers. This book provides the design strategy and tactics you need to integrate game mechanics into any kind of consumer-facing website or mobile app. Learn how to use core game concepts, design patterns, and meaningful code samples to a create fun and captivating social environment.

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

gaming, video gameTom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know.

Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment.

Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

gaming, gamer, gamificationGreat things don’t happen in a vacuum. But creating an environment for creative thinking and innovation can be a daunting challenge. How can you make it happen at your company? The answer may surprise you: gamestorming.

This book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. The authors have identified tools and techniques from some of the world’s most innovative professionals, whose teams collaborate and make great things happen. This book is the result: a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace. Find out why — and how — with Gamestorming.

What’s your reading list for game-based learning?


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Categorised in: Game-Based Learning, Gamification of Education

6 Responses »


  1. 10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning | Games and education |
  2. 10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning | DIGITAL EDUCATION |
  3. 10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning | Educação, EaD e Games |
  4. 10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning | serious fun - serious learning |
  5. 10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning | Digital Play |
  6. 10 Books for Reading to Level Up on Game-Based Learning | To play or not to play? |

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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