Thinking outside the (X)box: encouraging innovation in game design education

Lynn Parker, Robin J. S. Sloan, Santiago Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on a teaching research project that sought to encourage computer arts students to engage with disciplines beyond that of entertainment design in order to stimulate the creation of novel game ideas. While teaching of both technical and artistic skills is essential to education that prepares students for employment in the creative industries, the authors identified a need for creative thinking, interdisciplinary awareness, and innovation to be encouraged alongside skills development within a game design curriculum. To investigate this problem, an education research project was conducted at the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education, at the Abertay University. This involved an initial case study of a student team, who designed a strategy game in order to address a problem identified by colleagues in environmental science. The case study informed the design, delivery and evaluation of a live game design module undertaken by students of a computer arts programme. The findings indicated that a mix of skills demonstration, lectures that cross discipline boundaries, and activities outside the computer lab not only encouraged more creative thinking in terms of design concepts, but also motivated students to direct their own learning of technical and artistic skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalMedia Education Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Computer art
  • Computer games
  • Game design
  • Curriculum design


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