Narratizing disciplines and disciplinizing narratives: Games as 21 st century curriculum

Sasha A. Barab, Melissa Gresalfi, Tyler Dodge, Adam Ingram-Goble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Education is about revealing possibility and exciting passions, empowering learners with the disciplinary expertise to meaningfully act on problematic contexts in which applying disciplinary knowledge is important. Toward this end, we have been using gaming methodologies and technologies to design curricular dramas that position students as active change agents who use knowledge to inquire into particular circumstances and, through their actions, transform the problematic situation into a known. Unlike more traditional textbooks designed to transmit facts or micro-stories, our focus is on building interactive experiences in which understanding core concepts, such as erosion or the idea of metaphor, and seeing oneself as a person who uses these to address personally meaningful and socially significant problems is valued. It is the explicit goal of this manuscript to communicate this power of educational videogames, as well as the design steps that we have been using to make this happen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Contextual learning
  • Engagement
  • New media
  • Quest atlantis
  • Transformational play
  • Video games
  • Virtual worlds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications


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