Referenten (12.09.2011)

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Sonja Ganguin

Computer Games, Learning & Work – A Synthesis of Antagonisms?

This paper discusses the attempt to use computer games, especially their self- motivation and lightheartedness, and transfer them to learning and working contexts. Didactic approaches that are to be mentioned are ‘game based learning’ and ‘serious games.’ Their intention is to facilitate the process of learning and qualification. However, these approaches face the problem of traditional and conservative ways of thinking, namely the socially constructed connotations of playing (lightheartedness and purposelessness) on the one hand and work respective learning (hardships and seriousness) on the other hand. So the basic thesis of my paper postulates a (European) historical and structural opposition between playing and formal learning, or rather working with new media. In order to study this thesis empirically, a quantitative study with students is conducted. The results of this study are illustrated with a strong focus on semantic differentials, in order to elucidate the semantic of the concepts ‘play,’ ‘work,’ and ‘learning’ from the perspective of students and analyze their connotations and associations. This will lead to conclusions on how the connection of playing, working and learning in the sense of concepts such as ‘serious are interpreted by students.

Kurzer Lebenslauf

Dr. Ganguin has worked in many different fields of media research. She has written her dissertation about “Computer Games and Lifelong Learning”. In addition, she did various research studies of mobile learning and media literacy. She currently is lecturing media pedagogy and media research at the University of Paderborn.
Moreover Dr. Ganguin is actively participating in several associations and reviews for different organizations e.g. the organization for voluntary self-regulation of television and for computer games.


Sonja Ganguin
Fakultät für Kulturwissenschaften
Lehrbereich Medienpädagogik und empirische Medienforschung
Warburgerstraße 100
D-33098 Paderborn
Fon: +49 5251 60-3299