We return to questions of pedagogy in this issue of Analog Game Studies. Our authors ask not only what impacts might analog games have upon those who play them, but also how do the personalities, quirks, and desires of those seated around the game table inform the community experience of the game? To play a game is to recognize how every designed detail–from the costumes worn by players, to the density of a games rules, to even the secret information in a player’s hand–impacts the inclusivity and the experience of others at the table.
In his essay “Extracting the Pedagogy: Using Games as Texts in the Language Classroom” Alex Hogue considers how board games are taken up in foreign language classroom. He critiques approaches to pedagogy that attempt to shoehorn educational content into games. Suggesting instead that teachers ought to consider what educational content might be laying in wait within games, just waiting for a clever teacher to “extract” it. Similarly, Jason Cox’s essay “Play to Find Out What Happens: Insight Through Reflection” is a call for mindful and meditative play. Drawing on continental philosophy, Cox suggests that abandoning oneself to play might lead one to find exciting new pathways for better knowing the self. Josh Miller considers the phenomenon of quarterbacking in cooperative games in his essay “Roleplaying as a Solution to the Quarterbacking Problem of Cooperative and Educational Games.” Miller adeptly maps the power relationships of players in cooperative games and argues that by understanding these relationships one might be able to adopt a greater sensitivity to the implementation of cooperative games in the classroom. Finally, Jonathan Rey Lee looks at Paul Booth’s recent book Board Games as Media as an important methodological contribution to the media analysis of board games. Lee sees Booth’s work as teaching us about mediation per se, with wide-ranging ramifications for multiple fields.
We hope that you enjoy reading this issue’s essays as much as we enjoyed editing them. Onward, to summer!!!!
Featured image “kudzu bldg” by Dudus Maximus @Flickr CC BY-NC-ND.