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Co-Creating Games with Children: A Case Study

Karen Mouws and Lizzy Bleumers
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Karen Mouws: iMinds-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
Lizzy Bleumers: iMinds-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2015, vol. 7, issue 3, 22-43

Abstract: In this paper, the authors investigate the role of and relationship between creative production practices (e.g. problem-solving and self-evaluation) and cooperative learning mechanisms (e.g. building trust and group processing) in a case of game co-design. 21 Belgian school children created game concepts together with a game designer, their teacher, and co-design facilitators. During a project week at school, participants moved from idea generation to presenting game concepts through collaboratively created prototypes. This case study, combining observation and survey methods, reveals that self-evaluation and openness to sharing ideas emerged spontaneously, but the critical analysis of digital games and crediting existing work require support. Moreover, as creative choices become part of group deliberation, progress in the creative production process critically depends on group functioning. The authors conclude that by grounding co-design in theory on cooperative learning and media literacy, co-design activities may be better understood and new avenues for supporting co-creators can be identified.

Date: 2015
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