Game-Based Learning


Using games to attain specified learning outcomes

Principal Metaphors

  • Knowledge is … scope of possible action and interpretation
  • Knowing is … retention and application
  • Learner is … player (individual)
  • Learning is … playing, attaining
  • Teaching is … game master




Game-Based Learning is focused on using games to attain pre-selected learning outcomes.


Proponents of Game-Based Learning embrace all types of games, but the timing of the movement suggests a particular interest in video games. (Compare GamificationConstructionist Gaming, and Games and Learning.)

Authors and/or Prominent Influences


Status as a Theory of Learning

Game-Based Learning is not a theory of learning.

Status as a Theory of Teaching

Game-Based Learning seems to be most commonly articulated as a means to achieve pre-specified learning outcomes, and so it appropriately categorized as a theory of teaching.

Status as a Scientific Theory

Game-Based Learning currently satisfies none of our criteria to be classified as scientific.

Map Location

Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2020). “Game-Based Learning” in Discourses on Learning in Education.

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