Game Based Learning Required Reading

I’ve been consumed by creating a required reading list for my graduate degree in education.  While the list after the break is by no means complete, it is what I believe to be a substantial base from which to inform your practice as a game based learning teacher or researcher. If you are a parent and have a student in a class with a teacher trying some of these techniques out, what better way to really understand why your child is playing Minecraft in class than by doing some reading?!

I’ve provided links to Amazon for all the books (just click the title!) and all the papers / articles / reports are available as PDF’s online.  I would LOVE your feedback on this list in the comments section, if you have any additions!


  1. Araya, D., Peters, M. (2010). Education in the creative economy: knowledge and learning in the age of innovation. New York: Peter Lang.
  2. Boellstorff, T. (2012). Ethnography and virtual worlds: a handbook of method. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  3. Buckingham, D. (2007). Beyond technology: children’s learning in the age of digital culture. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  4. Cuban, L. (2003). Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  5. Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: creating smarter students through digital learning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Gee, J. P., Hayes, E. (2010). Women and gaming: the Sims and 21st century learning. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  8. Kapp, K. M. (2012). The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
  9. McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken: why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press.
  10. Ritterfeld, U., Cody, M. J., Vorderer, P. (2009). Serious games: mechanisms and effects. New York: Routledge.
  11. Squire, K. D, Jenkins, H. (2011). Video games and learning: teaching and participatory culture in the digital age. New York: Teachers College Press.
  12. Steinkuehler, C. (2012). Video games, learning, and society: learning and meaning in the digital age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Papers / Articles / Reports


  1. Barab, S. A., Gresalfi, M., Arici, A. (2009). Why educators should care about games. Educational Leadership 67(1), pp. 76-80.
  2. Davidson, C. N., Goldberg, D. T. (2009). The future of learning institutions in a digital age. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  3. Donovan, G. T., Katz, C. (2009). “Cookie Monsters: Seeing Young People’s Hacking as Creative Practice.” Children, Youth and Environments 19(1): 197-222.
  4. Greenfield, P. M. (2009). “Technology and Informal Education: What Is Taught, What Is Learned.” Science 323:69–71.
  5. Grimes, S., Fields, D. (2012). Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums. New York. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
  6. Gutnick, A. L., Robb, M., Takeuchi, L., Kotler, J. (2010). Always connected: The new digital media habits of young children. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
  7. Ito, M., Gutiérrez K., Livingstone S., PenuelB., Rhodes J., Salen K., SchorJ., Sefton-Green J., Watkins S. C. (2013). Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub
  8. Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., Evans, C. (2009). The civic potential of video games. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  9. Olson, C. K. (2010). Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development. Review of General Psychology (June, 2010).
  10. Sefton-Green, J. (2004). Literature review in informal learning with technology outside school. FutureLab: London, UK.
  11. Shaffer, D. W., Squire, K. D., Halverson, R., Gee, J. P. (2004). Video games and the future of learning. Madison: University of Wisconsin-Madison and Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory.
  12. Squire, K. D. (2004). Replaying History: Learning World History through playing Civilization III. PhD dissertation, Instructional Systems and Technology Department, Indiana University, January
  13. Squire, K. D. (2008). Open-ended video games: A model for developing learning for the interactive age. In K. Salen (Ed.) The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation series on digital media and learning. (167-198) Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  14. Squire, K. D. (2006). From content to context: Video games as designed experiences. Educational Re- searcher, 35(8), 19-29.
  15. Squire, K. D., Giovanetto L. (2008). “The Higher Education of Gaming,” eLearning
  16. Steeves, V. (2012). Young Canadians in a Wired World Phase III: Teachers’ Perspectives. Ottawa: Media Smarts.
  17. Steeves, V. (2014). Young Canadians in a Wired World: Experts or Amateurs? Gauging Young Canadians’ Digital Literacy Skills. Ottawa: Media Smarts.
  18. Steinkuehler, C. (2011). The mismeasure of boys: Reading and online videogames (WCER Working Paper No. 2011-3).
  19. van Hamel, A. (2011). From Consumer to Citizen: Digital Media and Youth Civic Engagement. Ottawa: Media Awareness Network.
  20. Williamson, B. (2013). The future of the curriculum: school knowledge in the digital age. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

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