ECGBL Keynote Speaker Outlines

Keynote Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Speeches which will take place at ECGBL 2018.

Do Books Work? (and other questions we probably shouldn’t ask)

Dr Jacob Habgood, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

The research community has invested thousands of hours and significant quantities of grant funding trying to demonstrate that game-based learning works, but has much of this effort been misguided? Drawing upon examples from his own work, Jake will argue that it’s time researchers focussed their attention on more useful questions instead. Analytics systems provide endless possibilities for exploring how to create more effective game-based learning, so it’s easier than ever to shift from studying “if” game-based learning works to “how”. Zombies are guaranteed in a presentation which abandons PowerPoint slides for something appropriately more game-like…

Don’t Forget the Beans!

Eric Sanchez, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Recent definitions of gamification emphasize the subjective nature of the experienced value of play. Indeed, by entering into the magic circle of a game, the player gives a different meaning to his activity. As a result, common objects acquire an unexpected value and ordinary actions become important and directed towards a vital objective. This talk looks at the importance of considering the subjective and performative nature of play from a learning perspective. A look at how to take a critical step in the field of game-based learning: to go beyond looking for game elements and game mechanics.

The Magic Circle of Playful and Gameful Co-Creation

Dr Sylvester Arnab, Coventry University, UK

There is a need for designing engaging learning experiences that will nurture creative mind-sets and sustainable practices. Playful and gameful activities provide a safe and fun environment and space (digital, analogue or hybrid) for exploring creative and innovative ideas. The process of designing and creating playful and gameful experiences also has the potential to facilitate a deeper learning experience that will exploit inter-disciplinary engagement. This talk will touch on practice and research insights based around initiatives, such as GameChangers (, CreativeCulture ( and Beaconing (