Values-based Transformative Games: From the Physical to the Digital
Keywords:Values, transformative games, young, serious games, sustainability, game design
In the context of game-based learning, learning is often limited to basic literacies such as math and reading, even though several educational institutions acknowledge the importance of Values education. In this paper, we discuss how to bring values into a game. We discuss the design and implementation of a customisable version of the popular board game, Snakes and Ladders to teach values to the young (ages 0-8). Values refer to “a centrally held, enduring belief which guides actions and judgements across specific situations…”. This implies that there is an inherent element of choice or decision-making in demonstrating one’s values. We discuss the process of adapting the Snakes and Ladders board game to a physical artefact by applying a Values-based Transformative Games Design Model, and further digitizing the artefact to make it more accessible. A prototype of the digital artefact is presented to demonstrate the concept. The Insider Action Game Design Research methodology is applied to create a physical artefact given the researcher’s involvement in volunteer work on values-based education for the young. The findings of this research are of immediate benefit to those wishing to introduce a digitized version of a simple and popular board game to teach values to young children. The values-based questions used in the game are easy to adapt so the game has the potential to be extended to various other basic literacies, as well as different types of values such as sustainability and cultural values. The Values-based Transformative Games design model can also be adapted and improved with further research.