On Victory Points and Abstraction: Flip City and L2TL

Introduction "Winning" as a feature is nearly ubiquitous in games. Very few activities that might be described as "games" go without a win-condition and those that do are considered by many gamers and designers as not games. A good example of a game without win conditions is Rory's Story Cubes. It has a variety of … Continue reading On Victory Points and Abstraction: Flip City and L2TL

Using Games to Situate and Embody Theoretical Writing

1 Introduction In the Bridging Activities Model (Thorne & Reinhardt, 2012), the Examine stage of the cycle is meant to provide students with an opportunity to critically compare the language they found through exploration of a given social context with either their own previous knowledge, with the exploration of a different student and / or with … Continue reading Using Games to Situate and Embody Theoretical Writing

Ludonarrative Dissonance, Conceptual Metaphor and Language Learning

1. Introduction One important way tabletop gamers get introduced to new games is through video playthroughs that local in-person groups shoot together and upload on popular websites like youtube or boardgamegeek. Over time, the familiarity a viewer has with a particular play-group gives them a sense of trust that the games they play might be … Continue reading Ludonarrative Dissonance, Conceptual Metaphor and Language Learning

Bridging the digital-tabletop divide and why it’s a good idea

1. Introduction The theories of language learning and the pedagogical practices I work through deal almost exclusively with the content of digital language learning. Internet-based social language learning in CALL or MALL or whatever other area is an exciting place to practice language learning and teaching. In my own Vygostkian sociocultural theoretic practice, the main … Continue reading Bridging the digital-tabletop divide and why it’s a good idea

Developing A Practice of Concept-Based Instruction: Adverbs of Scale

1. Introduction: The Situation In the conversation classes that I teach, the books (Stretch, Oxford Books) often present grammar and other "skills" in a perplexing way. They present the form of the grammar or skill, without explaining anything very much about why the form is the way it is. Often any explanation is done with the phrase, "usually..." … Continue reading Developing A Practice of Concept-Based Instruction: Adverbs of Scale

Tutorials: Digital and Tabletop game design perspectives

1. Introduction In his book "What digital games have to teach us about literacy and learning" James Paul Gee spends a fair amount of time discussing the need for tutorials in digital games. Without restating entirely his insight, Gee mentions that vernacular games in capitalistic societies are motivated in the most need-based, goal-oriented way possible to … Continue reading Tutorials: Digital and Tabletop game design perspectives

Game-Design Enhanced L2TL Review: Hyper Light Drifter

Introduction To this point in my game design enhanced foreign language teaching and learning (GD-L2TL) reviews I have not covered a traditional combat-oriented role-playing game (RPG). Hyper Light Drifter (henceforth HLD) will serve as the first in a two-game review that examines RPGs from two very different perspectives in order to mine them both for … Continue reading Game-Design Enhanced L2TL Review: Hyper Light Drifter

Making Functional Grammar Explicit: Game Design-Enhanced TBLT Lesson Plans for “Firewatch”

Introduction In our review of Firewatch, we concluded that it would make an excellent video game for Game Design-Enhanced TBLT (GD-TBLT). It's heavy narrative weight means that within the game there is a large amount of language and other literary devices that can be exploited for all kinds of learning, not just second language teaching and … Continue reading Making Functional Grammar Explicit: Game Design-Enhanced TBLT Lesson Plans for “Firewatch”

Applying For the Job: Using Work Simulators in the L2TL Classroom

The EFL Situation ESL/EFL teachers will immediately recognize the theme of "jobs" as a staple of almost all ESL/EFL textbooks. Even very young students in most places recognize that their parents work or that there are people in their community like police officers or restaurant workers. It is this, assumed, shared understanding that makes "jobs" … Continue reading Applying For the Job: Using Work Simulators in the L2TL Classroom

Using A Game-Design Enhanced Approach to TBLT: The Example of The Social Deception Tabletop Game “Coup”:

This essay attempts to both describe and motivate the Bridging Activities Cycle for game-design enhanced TBLT. For further foundational reading into the philosophical and theoretical motivations for using games and taking a game-design approach to TBLT, see here. Introduction Vernacular video games, or commercial video games, have in the last decade begun to be examined … Continue reading Using A Game-Design Enhanced Approach to TBLT: The Example of The Social Deception Tabletop Game “Coup”: