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Back to the Gaming Board: Understanding Games and Education through Board Game Reviews

, , , , , Michigan State University, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Washington, D.C., United States ISBN 978-1-939797-32-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


Recent academic research into the use of games for educational purposes has focused almost exclusively on video games. In this study, we explore player perceptions of board games with regards to education. We started with a large dataset of 7,806,486 reviews of 53,960 games collected from the BoardGameGeek website. We performed a keyword search for “education,” resulting in a working dataset of 1,978 reviews. First, we evaluated what games were being discussed with regards to education, looking at educational reviews per game title as well as educational games per subdomain and category. We also qualitatively coded a sample of 200 reviews to describe the perception of the educational value of these games and the perception of the quality of these games. We found, through a number of quantitative and qualitative measures, that reviewers were generally accepting of games’ potential for educational purposes.


Staudt Willet, B., Moudgalya, S., Boltz, L., Greenhalgh, S. & Koehler, M. (2018). Back to the Gaming Board: Understanding Games and Education through Board Game Reviews. In E. Langran & J. Borup (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 495-503). Washington, D.C., United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 20, 2019 from .

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