Making computer games and design thinking: A review of current software and strategies

Elisabeth Gee, Ivan Alex Games

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


This article provides an overview of computer software and instructional strategies intended to engage young people in making computer games, to achieve a variety of educational goals. It briefly describes the most popular of such programs and compares their key features, including the kinds of games that can be created with the software, the types of communities and resources that are associated with each program, claims made for learning outcomes resulting from use of the software, and the results of empirical research (if any) on the application and outcomes of the software in formal or informal educational settings. A key finding is that existing software and educational applications stress the goal of teaching users about computer programming and place little or no emphasis on teaching concepts related to game design. It concludes by discussing the potential value of explicit attention to "design thinking" as goal of game making in education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-332
Number of pages24
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Game design
  • Learning
  • Software
  • Thinking
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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