Learning through Pivotal Play – Talk by Premeet Sidhu

Meaningful moments in games can impact how people navigate, reflect on, and make sense of their real lives and worlds. However, current definitions limit meaningful play to actions and outcomes taking place within the game space. In this talk I propose and discuss an adjacent definition of pivotal play—appealing, memorable, and transformative play experiences that transcend game boundaries. Using data from my own research into the resurgence and contemporary appeal of the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons [D&D], I investigate common examples of pivotal play—such as death and transgression—and explore how pivotal play can be applied and considered in wider areas of learning, pedagogy, and game design.

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