Title

Collaborative strategic board games as a site for distributed computational thinking

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

International Journal of Game-Based Learning

Volume

1

Issue

2

Publication Date

4-1-2011

First Page

65

Last Page

81

Abstract

This paper examines the idea that contemporary strategic board games represent an informal, interactional context in which complex computational thinking takes place. When games are collaborative – that is, a game requires that players work in joint pursuit of a shared goal – the computational thinking is easily observed as distributed across several participants. This raises the possibility that a focus on such board games are profitable for those who wish to understand computational thinking and learning in situ. This paper introduces a coding scheme, applies it to the recorded discourse of three groups of game players, and provides qualitative examples of computational thinking that are observed and documented in Pandemic. The primary contributions of this work are the description of and evidence that complex computational thinking can develop spontaneously during board game play.

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