Digital Games and Learning

Series Editors: Sara de Freitas, Paul Maharg

Games and simulations have had a new lease of life in the digital revolution. There are remarkable examples of fascinating games that are also tools for learning complex knowledge, and engaging simulations that are used for pleasure and work-related training and education. Their existence raises many research questions: how are they designed? Who plays them? What are the economics of such games for players, providers, others in the market, and how do the economics affect game and simulation production and use? Where are they being used in education and training, and to what effect? Digital Games and Learning (DGL) aims to explore these and many other questions about the design and use of games and simulations in our societies.

Books in the series will provide:

  • Insights into how games and simulations can be used effectively in education
  • Appreciation of the multi-disciplinary research base that is emerging in this fast-developing field
  • Knowledge of the implementations that can be put to use in different levels of education: school, further education, higher education and workplaces.

Volumes in the DGL series will focus on innovative research, theory and practice. We shall be publishing books that evidence at least some of the following themes and traits:

  1. Disciplinary grounding

    Our series will investigate the relation between more conventional ‘signature pedagogies’ and new approaches to learning engendered by digital games and simulations.

  2. Interactivity of social relations

    Games and simulations are often highly social, but their social and cultural codes still require substantial research.

  3. Design-led learning

    One of the significant differences between conventional teaching and digital games and simulations is the amount of design work that is required upfront in order to plan the learning environment and facilitate learning within it. DGL will investigate the theory and practices of design in digital games and simulations.

  4. Problem-solving

    Digital games and simulations are useful learning environments for problem-solving heuristics. The extent to which this happens, for whom and under what conditions, will be a theme of our series.

  5. Innovative research methodologies

    We encourage forms of action research (practice research, participatory action research, action science, etc) as well as the challenging of conventional approaches to cognitive science, to educational theory constructs and to the philosophy of game-play.

The series is an international resource for educationalists, educators, technologists and educational users. It brings together some of the best contemporary academic and practitioner commentators to tackle the dilemmas and opportunities in a challenging, informed and inquiring manner. The scope of the series is purposely wide and contributions from a variety of disciplines are welcomed. Books may be monographs, single or multi-authored, or edited collections.

To contact the series editors email either Sara de Freitas or Paul Maharg:



Sara is Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Teaching and Learning at Curtin University in Perth Western Australia. In this role, she heads up the Curtin Teaching and Learning team which is fostering excellence in teaching and learning among all the Faculties at Curtin. She is also Visiting Professor at Coventry University in the UK and Malta University. Her research background is in scientific research into the efficacy of technology enhanced learning.

In her previous role, Sara was Director of Research at Coventry University, UK, where she has led the formation and development of the Serious Games Institute, a hybrid model of research, business and study, the first institute of its kind. The Institute attracted millions in research income, has a network of affiliated organizations in four continents, and the business side of operations has successful commercial spinouts in the UK and Singapore.

At Birkbeck College, University of London, she helped to establish the well known London Knowledge Lab, with its focus upon ICT and education. Over the period, she has also directed a company, which provided consultancy support for UK Department of Education and the Joint Information Systems Committee. She has attracted significant funding from the British Council, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, European Union and European Regional Development Fund.

Over her academic career, Sara has published extensively in the areas of: higher education policy, pedagogy and technology enhanced learning. She has published seven books and over 100 journal articles, conference papers and reports. She currently sits on over 100 programme committees and advisory boards and has undertaken over 100 keynotes, presentations and public lectures. Her most recent book, Education in Computer Generated Environments (2013), has just been published in hardback by Routledge in their Research in Education Series. With respect to awards she has gained a teaching award at Birkbeck College, was awarded Most Influential Woman in Technology 2009 and 2010 by the US Fast Company and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Relevant web links:

 The Serious Games Institute:

 Rethinking Learning for a Digital Age:

 Digital Games & Learning:

 Interdisciplinary Advancements in Gaming, Simulations and Virtual Environments: Emerging Trends: see:

 Book Series: Digital Games and Learning, see:


Paul Maharg (MA (Hons) Class 1, PhD, PGCE, Dip Ed, LLB) is Professor of Law in the College of Law, Australian National University, and is currently setting up a legal education centre in the College. Prior to this he was a Professor of Legal Education at Northumbria University School of Law and Professor of Law in the Glasgow Graduate School (GGSL), University of Strathclyde. There, he was Co-Director of Legal Practice Courses, and Director of the innovative Learning Technologies Development Unit at the GGSL, as well as Director of the two-year, JISC/UKCLE-funded project, SIMPLE (SIMulated Professional Learning Environment – and consultant to the JISC/HEA Simshare project ( He is the author of Transforming Legal Education: Learning and Teaching the Law in the Early Twenty-first Century (2007, Ashgate Publishing, 354pp,, co-editor of and contributor to Digital Games and Learning (2011, Continuum Publishers), co-editor of and contributor to Affect and Legal Education. The Impact of Emotion on Learning and Teaching the Law (2011, Ashgate Publishing), and co-editor of and contributor to The Arts and the Legal Academy: Beyond Text in Legal Education (2012, Ashgate Publishing). He is co-editor of two book series (Digital Games and Learning, Routledge Publishing, and Emerging Legal Education, Ashgate Publishing) and has published widely in the fields of legal education and professional learning design ( He is currently a member of the Legal Education & Training Review (LETR) group. His specialisms include interdisciplinary educational design, and the use of technology-enhanced learning at all levels of legal education. He was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2007), a National Teaching Fellow (2011), and a Fellow of the RSA ( He blogs at Email:

  • Aesthetics and Design for Game-based Learning

    By Michele D. Dickey

    Aesthetics and Design for Game-based Learning provides learning designers with insight into how the different elements that comprise game aesthetics can inform the design of game-based learning. Regardless of the cognitive complexities involved, games are essentially entertainment media, and…

    Paperback – 2015-03-05
    Digital Games and Learning

  • Digital Games and Learning

    Research and Theory

    By Nicola Whitton

    In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of digital games to enhance teaching and learning at all educational levels, from early years through to lifelong learning, in formal and informal settings. The study of games and learning, however, takes a broader view of the relationship…

    Paperback – 2014-03-26
    Digital Games and Learning

  • Online Gaming and Playful Organization

    By Harald Warmelink

    Online Gaming and Playful Organization explores the cultural impact of gaming on organizations. While gaming is typically a form of entertainment, this book argues that gaming communities can function as a useful analogue for work organizations because both are comprised of diverse members who must…

    Hardback – 2013-12-09
    Digital Games and Learning