The Challenges and Opportunities of Analogue Game-Based Learning Medeisiene, R. A., Sciukauske, I., Karasa, D., Maratou, V., Chaliampalias, R., Moore, J. D., Abdullahi, Y., Rye, S., Sousa, C., Luz, F., Barroso, I., Neves, P. P. and & Fonseca, M. (2021). The Challenges and Opportunities of Analogue Game-Based Learning. London South Bank University.

The report will be built on best existing practice in the area of game-based teaching and assessment from experts from all over Europe. It will include materials, resources, research and documented case studies of game-based approaches to teaching. Also, it will describe the challenges experts were facing during implementation of the practice and an articulated set of advice on how to confront the above challenges.


Sousa, F. Luz, M.M. Fonseca, P. Neves, P. Lopes, V. Maratou, R. Chaliampalias, A. Kameas, Y. Abdullahi, S. Rye (2022) AN ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE FUTURE FOR TABLETOP GAMES AND LEARNING: PARADIGMS AND APPROACHES, ICERI2022 Proceedings, pp. 83978406./doi

In recent years, the social perspective on disability has been changing, abandoning the more traditional medical paradigm, and replaced by more socially and contextually aware methods. In this sense, disability is now seen as a social construct, as the inability to accommodate the personal requirements of each individual. This has prompted changes in both educational interventions and media creation frameworks, based on paradigms that promote inclusivity. Considering the recognized social and educational potential of tabletop games, and their recognized potential for inclusion intervention, it makes sense to look at this medium and how it can advocate the inclusion of each player’s needs.


Maratou, V., Ennami, F., Abdullahi, Y., Medeišienė, R. A., Ščiukauskė, I., Chaliampalias, R., Kameas, A., Sousa, C., & Rye, S. (in press). Game-Based Learning in Higher Education Using Analogue Games. International Journal of Film and Media Arts

Analogue games have been increasingly studied through the lens of media and cultural studies namely considering their technology, textuality, and audiences, to understand their ability to convey meanings, messages, and their ancient presence in popular culture. Nevertheless, their specific potential in the fields of learning and education has been relegated to the background, given the salience of digital games in the scientific landscape. This paper provides a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) and mapping of game-based learning (GBL) applied in Higher Education (HE). Specific areas that require further work to improve the effectiveness of GBL have been highlighted. To this aim and in the context of this research, interviews were conducted with HE tutors and game designers across Europe to determine if the issues raised in the literature review are replicated in the opinions of those teaching. The resulting analysis showed a strong similarity between written and spoken opinions regarding GBL. Although all interviewees felt there were clear benefits to exploiting GBL, there were several barriers to their use. Those that were most mentioned were the large amount of time needed to create GBL experiences, and the lack of support, or understanding of the benefits of GBL, both from students and the institutions at which they teach. The research the was carried out for this paper shows that there is a clear need for a simple, easy to use, framework for the creation of GBL experiences. Such a framework would reduce the time needed by educators to create such games and would aim to increase games' exploitation in educational contexts.

Sousa, C., Rye, S., Sousa, M., Torres, P. J., Perim, C., Mansuklal, S., & Ennami, F. (2023). Playing at the school table: Systematic literature review of board, tabletop, and other analog game-based learning approaches. Frontiers in Psychology, 14.

The unique characteristics of games have led scientific research to increasingly focus on their potential role in learning processes. Currently, their effectiveness in fostering experiential learning and skill acquisition in several areas is already supported by the existing evidence, mainly about the potential of digital games. Paradoxically, the current post-digital era seems to have led to a growing popularity of analogue games. The present Systematic Literature Review aimed to map the existing literature on the potential of board, tabletop, or other analogue games in learning processes. It intended to systematize the contemporary state of the art (2012-2022) around the pedagogical role of these games, their effectiveness, the promoted learning outcomes, the methodological aspects of the interventions, the used games – including mechanics and other characteristics – and the current discussions around inclusion and accessibility in analogue game-based learning. Adopting the PRISMA methodology, we searched ACM Digital Library, EBSCO, ERIC, Scopus - Elsevier, and Web of Science databases, as well as other peer-reviewed “grey literature” sources. The search resulted in an initial sample of 2741 articles that was then screened by inclusion and exclusion criteria previously defined according to the research objectives. We obtained a final sample of 45 articles. To formulate the mapping of existing research, these studies were analyzed using a combination of statistical, content, and critical analysis procedures. The obtained results support the role of board, tabletop, and other analogue games in educational contexts – based on their educational potential – with a broad range of knowledge, cognitive, and psychological outcomes. The study also emphasized the relevance of these games in the promotion of soft skills and other aspects typically associated with meaningful learning, such as engagement, satisfaction, flexibility, and freedom of experimentation. However, important limitations were found in a fair amount of the pedagogical approaches studied, which can be mostly attributed to the low prevalence of modern board games that relate what is intended to be learned to aspects of game design and have little to no consideration of accessibility and inclusion aspects in these studies.


Rye.S . (2022) “Game based learning as a measure for inclusivity”,LTSE, Learning, Teaching, Student Experience conference, 25 May 2022, Belfast, UK

Board games particularly deal with traditional/instructional pedagogical methods (Sardone & Devlin-Scherer, 2016) through an experiential framework including inclusivity within a diverse classroom composed of motor-divergent, Neuro-divergent and culturally diverse pupils. TEGA project (TEGA-Porject, 2022) identified 14 measures for inclusivity. We would like to discuss these measures within a workshop and explore how this resonate with the lived experience of the attendees.

Rye, S. and Carla, C. (2023), Designing Educational Games for Diverse Learners in multi-disciplinary classrooms: The TEGA Toolkit as a Framework. 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 5-6 October 2023, Enschede, Netherlands.

This study aims to address the challenges that less experienced educators face in designing and applying game-based learning in higher education, regardless of their discipline. Although game-based learning is effective, designing and applying it efficiently can be costly and require a high level of experience. The authors developed a game-based learning toolkit, on the scope of the action-research project TEGA, for university level educators teaching level 4-7. The toolkit was developed using a theoretical framework that involved game-based learning and participatory design. The authors used a review of existing literature and a set of three focus groups to analyze and assess the characteristics of a good design for game-based learning. The data collected from the focus groups were used to develop a game design framework consisting of three distinct 'packs.' Each pack guides educators through creating an educational game that is specifically designed for the needs of their students and subject. The first pack is the diagnosis pack, which maps the specific needs of the students based on their learner profile. The second pack is the design pack, which adopts existing game types, mechanics, and characteristics to address the learners' profile. Finally, the assessment pack provides a set of questionnaires to ensure the designed game meets the minimum requirements for an inclusive game. It also provides a means for self-assessment of the educators' readiness to implement the game within the classroom setting. The authors piloted the TEGA toolkit through a set of systematic and collaborative efforts with different stakeholders, including educators, students, and game designers. Additionally, the result of the study identified 14 measures for inclusivity, such as consulting students, playtesting, customizability, being fun, simplicity, cooperation, and assigned responsibility. Overall, the TEGA toolkit and the game design framework provide a useful resource for less experienced educators to incorporate game-based learning into their teaching. The toolkit's participatory design approach and inclusion of the 14 measures for inclusivity ensure that the designed games are effective, engaging, and accessible to all students, regardless of their backgrounds or abilities.

Sara, Rye; Carla, Sousa (2023). Archaeologists discover ancient Mayan game – here’s what it can teach modern educators. UK: Article.
Sousa, M., Sousa, C., & Luz, F. (in press). The novelty of collaboration: high school students learning and enjoyment perceptions when playing cooperative modern board games. Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 5-6 October 2023, Enschede, Netherlands.

Modern board games are changing the way people play analogue face-to-face multiplayer games. One of the novelties of this trend is the growing prevalence of games that offer collaborative gameplay. These cooperative games have been instrumental in shifting the demographic of players, attracting individuals who prefer engaging in constructive interactions rather than destructive confrontations. Likewise, playing cooperative games demand specific players' skills which can be associated with the concept of soft skills. Training these skills through modern cooperative board games, whether by modifying existing games or developing new ones as serious games or using gamification approaches, holds promising potential. To test the perception of students playing cooperative modern board games for the first time, we organized a one-day play session in a school environment, specifically in a classroom with the support of the students’ teachers. Over a period of six hours (three in the morning and three in the afternoon), a total of 25 high school students from the vocational multimedia area, comprising students of all genders, participated in the session. The students engaged in gameplay with a curated selection of four cooperative modern board games. The results indicate that the students enjoyed the game sessions and recognized the significance of collaboration, as well as the associated skills including communication, empathy, organization, focus, and complementary interactions. The experiment reinforces the suggestion that the used modern board games could be introduced during classes as engaging activities fit for learning and training.

Neves, P., Sousa, C., Fonseca, M., & Rye, S. (in press). Games and Learning: Consolidating and Expanding the Potential of Analogue and Digital Games (Editorial). International Journal of Films and Media Arts.