Board games as a platform for Collaborative Learning

Andrew J Hunsucker


In this paper I will describe the current state of commercially produced board games and how they can be used to study collaborative learning. Board games are analog systems designed to create a gameplay experience. They include specific rules that players must translate in order to play the game. While board games come in a wide variety of types, their rules are constructed very similarly, including a game overview, order of play, and victory conditions. In a study conducted over 6 weeks, I examined what strategies players used to explain the game to others and learn the game for themselves. These sessions revealed many similarities between explanation strategies and common thinking in collaborative learning. I will explore these similarities and how various frameworks and theories can be used to describe player behavior during a board game play session.