Educational technology adoption is more widespread than ever in the wake of COVID-19, as corporations have commodified student engagement in makeshift packages marketed as gamification. This book seeks to create a space for playful learning in higher education, asserting the need for a pedagogy of care and engagement as well as collaboration with students to help us reimagine education outside of prescriptive educational technology.
Virtual learning has turned the course management system into the classroom, and business platforms for streaming video have become awkward substitutions for lecture and discussion. Gaming, once heralded as a potential tool for rethinking our relationship with educational technology, is now inextricably linked in our collective understanding to challenges of misogyny, white supremacy, and the circulation of misinformation. The initial promise of games-based learning seems to linger only as gamification, a form of structuring that creates mechanisms and incentives but limits opportunity for play. As higher education teeters on the brink of unprecedented crisis, this book proclaims the urgent need to find a space for playful learning and to find new inspiration in the platforms and interventions of personal gaming, and in turn restructure the corporatized, surveilling classroom of a gamified world.
Through an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by pandemic pedagogy, this book reveals the conditions that led to the widespread failure of adoption of games-based learning and offers a model of hope for a future driven by new tools and platforms for personal, experimental game-making as intellectual inquiry.