Kurt Squire on Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games

Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games (This link seems to be dead right now – sorry!) You will see these reappear in a more formal paper here soon, but in the meantime, here is my explanation again: These quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner.


– [ ] “What are people learning about academic subjects playing games
such as SimCity, Civilization, Tropico, or SimEarth? Might games
be used in formal learning environments? This essay argues that
these are critical questions to game studies, and educational
studies, particularly work in
the learning sciences, and offers some important practical and
theoretical traditions that
games studies can draw upon as it matures as a field.” (Squire,
2002, p. 1)

Context Embedded

– [ ] Games are still simulations: “In short, playing Civilization
might be a tool that
can assist students in understanding social studies, but playing
the game is not
necessarily participating in historical, political, or
geographical analysis. Therefore,
building on our earlier discussion of transfer, there is very
good reason to believe that
students may not use their understandings developed in the game –
such as the political
importance of a natural resource like oil – as tools for
understanding phenomena outside
the game, such the economics behind The Persian Gulf War or
contemporary foreign
policy, even in a game as rich as Civilization III.” (Squire,
2002, p. 9)

Socially Negotiated

– [ ] “I argue that socio-cultural learning theory, activity theory,
and educational research on transfer are three theoretical
traditions that might also be of use to game studies” (Squire,
2002, p. 7)

21st Century Skills

– [ ] ” Games such as SimCity depict social bodies as complex dynamic
systems and embody concepts like positive feedback loops that are
central to systems thinking.” (Squire, 2002, p. 4)

Role of the Teacher

– [ ] “the instructional context that envelopes gaming is a more
important predictor of learning
that the game itself” (Squire, 2002, p. 5)
– [ ] ” the educational value of the game-playing experiences comes not
from just the game itself, but from the creative coupling of
educational media with effective pedagogy to engage students in
meaningful practices… the pedagogical value of a medium like
gaming cannot be realized without understanding how it is being
enacted through classroom use.” (Squire, 2002, p. 9)


– [ ] Understanding and unpacking how learning occurs through game
play, examining how gameplay can be used to support learning in
formal learning environments, and designing games explicitly to
support learning are three areas that educational research can
contribute to game studies.” (Squire, 2002, p. 7)


Squire, k. (2002). Cultural framing of computer/viodeo games. Game studies, 2 (1).