chapter  11
Designing Low-cost Games for Learning
Pages 19

Commercial off -the-shelf games have been used in school contexts (see, for example, Squire (2005) and Rylands (2011)) but it can be diffi cult to fi nd a commercial entertainment game that maps to the required curriculum, can be played within the time and technological constraints of the school classroom, and doesn’t require lots of irrelevant gameplay. For this reason, the use of commercial games tends to be limited to stimulating ideas or discussion rather than engaging directly with learning content. Th ere are examples for bespoke games being used eff ectively (Ebner and Holzinger, 2007; Yaneske, 2010) but these tend to be limited to disciplines such as engineering or computing, because of the specialist expertise needed to design and develop computer games. Th e opportunity to create bespoke fi t-for-purpose computer games is beyond the technical capabilities and time limitations of most teaching staff and outside of the capability of most learning technology teams. Eff ective digital games need games design expertise – many expensive in-house or designed-for-education games simply aren’t games.