Cross-generational and age-oriented digital game-based learning from childhood to older adulthood.

Editors: Margarida Romero (Université Laval, Canada, margarida.romero@fse.ulaval.ca), Kimberly Sawchuk (Concordia University, Canada, kim.sawchuk@sympatico.ca), Josep Blat (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain, josep.blat@upf.edu), Sergio Sayago (Universitat de Lleida, Spain, sergio.sayago@diei.udl.cat), Hubert Ouellet (Université Laval, Canada, hubert.ouellet.1@ulaval.ca).

Subject of the book
Whatever their age, 21st century citizens are invited, and at times pressured, from childhood to later adulthood, to engage in lifelong learning in an attempt to adapt to the rapid evolution of knowledge and digital technologies.. Lifelong learning could be perceived as a constraint of the knowledge society by younger and older adults, especially for those having suffered from negative learning experiences in their past (Hanson, Bruskiewitz & DeMuth, 2007). Overcoming the traditional dichotomy between learning and play, Game Based Learning (GBL) aims to engage actively the learner in playful learning experiences. This book examines the potential of GBL to enhance learning across the lifespan. Central to this approach is play, which is widely accepted as a ‘natural’ way for children to learn. However, play in adulthood could be perceived as a pastime or as a waste of productive time (Okojie, 2011), which requires a further examination of the perceptions of games and play across the lifespan in order to answer the question “What does it mean to play games at different moments of the lifespan?”. The proliferation of digital games, including the diversity of game universes, narratives, mechanics and devices, is growing among younger and older adults. Games, and game play, are a compelling activity that may provide a series of self-administered, level-based challenges, which demand self-regulation by the player. Games seem to provide a nearly perfect form of escapism. Through a game interface, players take a break from reality and exert a level of control in an environment of relative, risk-free failure. Many digital games are designed with a ludic intention offering a positive end-user experience. Their design can be repurposed as a means to implement a lifelong learning challenge unique to this period in history. This book, which is comprised of a collection of case studies, aims to highlight the opportunities and challenges of digital games across the lifespan, with a focus on age-related needs or interests that should be considered for game design, development and implementation.

The book draws upon an interdisciplinary approach which covers Game Studies, Computer Sciences, Human-Computer Interaction and Social Sciences.

Overall Objectives of the Book
The book aims to provide a both an overview and expansion of the current state of the art of Digital Game Based Learning (DGBL) across the lifespan. This includes a consideration of age-specific game design requirements to the technological devices which address the hurdles faced by children and older adults in the use of DGBL technologies. In addition to a consideration of the state of the art DGBL and the methodologies provided for the age-specific game design, development, implementation and assessment, a significant portion of the book will also focus on case studies where DGBL have been designed and implemented in each of the age groups and in cross-generational situations.

Structure of the Book
Game Based Learning along the Lifespan is structured into four sections.
The first section introduces the age-related needs for DGBL including a design and evaluation methodology for lifelong learning DGBL.
The second section focuses on the case studies of each of the ages-groups.
The third section introduces the cross-generational case studies.
The last section discusses the implications for each of the DGBL actors (game designers, game developers, instructional designers, lifelong learners) and the future outlook for age-related and cross-generational DGBL.

Topics
Position chapters are welcome, as are reports of both on-going and concluded in-field research.
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Intergenerational game-based learning
Digital game-based learning from childhood to older adulthood
Digital game activities in later life
Game co-creation with older adults
Exergames and games for health across the lifespan
Serious games for social challenges
DGBL across the lifespan implications for game designers and developers

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a 2-page (around 1000-1200 words) chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of their proposed chapter by November 5, 2015. Chapter proposals can be send to margarida.romero@fse.ulaval.ca and sergio.sayago@diei.udl.cat.
Author’s notifications will be sent by November 21, 2015, together with chapter guidelines.
Full chapters are expected to be submitted by February 12, 2016.
All submitted chapters will be peer-reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be asked to serve as reviewers for this project.

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About the author

Mark Rice is a research scientist in the Department of Visual Computing, Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore. Previously, I was employed at the University of Dundee (UK) where I graduated with a doctorate degree in Applied Computing in 2009. In 2002 I started my research career by joining the Interactive Technologies Research Group at the University of Brighton (UK), and in 2005 completed a research placement at the Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute (Japan). I predominately work within the areas of visual computing, human-computer interaction and software engineering. Research interests are broad and include gerontechnology and serious gaming.

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