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A Select Annotated BibliographyConcerning Game-Design Models for Digital Social Knowledge Creation[Notice]

  • Nina Belojevic,
  • Alyssa Arbuckle,
  • Matthew Hiebert,
  • Ray Siemens,
  • Shaun Wong,
  • Alex Christie,
  • Jon Saklofske,
  • Jentery Sayers,
  • Derek Siemens,
  • INKE Research Group et
  • ETCL Research Group
In 2012–2013 a team led by Ray Siemens at the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL), University of Victoria, in collaboration with Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE), developed three annotated bibliographies under the rubric of “social knowledge creation.” The items for the bibliographies were gathered and annotated by members of the ETCL to form a resource for students and researchers involved with INKE and well beyond, including at digital humanities seminars in Bern (June 2013) and Leipzig (July 2013). The result of this initiative might best be approached as an expeditious environmental scan, a necessarily partial snapshot of scholarship coalescing around an emerging area of critical interest. The bibliography presented here, “A Select Annotated Bibliography Concerning Game-Design Models for Digital Social Knowledge Creation,” outlines a selection of texts on game-design models and related definitions, discourses, and best practices relevant to digital social knowledge creation. Social knowledge creation in the digital realm, with the benefits of social networking models, crowdsourcing, folksonomic tagging systems, collaborative writing platforms, cloud-based computing, and a variety of many-to-many communication methods, has the potential to grow and flourish in the Web 2.0 environment. The trend towards greater access to large data in widely usable formats, and the growing familiarity with analytical tools to process that data, dramatically accelerates workflows and allows researchers to pose questions that simply would have taken too long to answer without computation. The software-based modes that researchers increasingly communicate through can be seen to cultivate a “problem-based” approach to scholarship that locates focus and concern outside disciplinary boundaries. Problem-based scholarship implies greater attunement with the public that research intends to serve, suggesting further that accelerating and deepening discourse between experts and the communities existing around data sets is of scholarly value. Similarly, videogames have developed and evolved in exciting ways, especially in relation to the growing ubiquity of computers, smartphones, and tablets. Although game studies have been a much-discussed field for some time now, the ways in which digital humanities, game studies, and the public overlap and relate to each other remain unclear. As digital humanities practices, such as multimodal communication, collaborative writing, modeling and prototyping, and hands-on making, become more widespread, possible overlaps or possibilities for shared learning and insights between game studies and digital humanities increase. Although many scholars may remain skeptical of such intersections, game-based pedagogy projects and humanities-related serious games indicate that overlaps are already taking place. The application of game-based models in digital humanities endeavors, although unconventional, should come as no surprise. Games are known for their potential to capture the player’s attention, encourage focus and concentration, facilitate collaboration among large groups, and express complex stories and topics in intuitive, experiential ways. As digital humanists develop scholarly and pedagogical environments, these benefits will become increasingly valuable. Perhaps the most widely known game-design approach that is applied in non-game environments is gamification. Gamification falls into a peculiar position within the game-studies/digital humanities relationship: its obvious genesis in the gaming world situates gamification in the realm of game studies, but its application necessarily diversifies this position. Furthermore, definitions of gamification provoke an array of opinions. While the term is often used in an ambiguous sense, referring to all game-like or gaming-inspired instances in non-gaming contexts, many scholars justly differentiate between gamification, serious games, playful design, and other related approaches. Sebastian Deterding et al. (2011) offer a well-articulated definition, stating that gamification is “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts” (p. 2), but they also note that gameful design may be a better term for use within academic contexts, since it carries less baggage than gamification ...