Some educational researchers claim that videogames can energize learning in both traditional and non-traditional contexts; cultivate skills more useful to a changing economy; and present information in ways more appealing to students. The notion of «serious games» dates back as early as the 1950s, but so far has failed to make a significant lasting impact on what goes on in education.
The Work of Play is an attempt to describe such learning on the micro-level, capturing the moment-by-moment interactions between players and showing how meanings are shaped over time. It builds on anthropological methods, including ethnography and conversation analysis, to re-construct how situated learning occurs and how players’ perception of the game evolves as their experiences with the game change. This is a valuable book for researchers and for classroom use at the upper-division undergraduate and graduate levels.