Parsifal a Game Opera

Experiential Learning in Gameful Performance Art
  • Rens KortmannEmail author
  • Arlon Luijten
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10056)


Richard Wagner’s Parsifal was recently rewritten and performed as a ‘game opera’. We used observations, questionnaires, and interviews to study how the 700+ audience were facilitated to experientially learn about the show’s main themes: compassion and collaboration. This case study contributed to our understanding how performance art may improve games for learning and training purposes, many of which now are notoriously ‘boring’. We concluded that performance art’s main contribution, in particular to games discussing fundamental values such as compassion, is to captivate players and ‘lure’ them into their natural behaviour. Thus the Parsifal game opera emotionally confronted its audience with their – callous and selfish – behaviour and intensified their learning through embodied experiences. However, some players lacked time and support to (collectively) reflect on their experiences and lacked catharsis. Therefore, we recommend using gameful performance art for learning and training purposes, provided that all activities in experiential learning are sufficiently facilitated.


Real-life games Performance arts Interactive drama Experiential learning Informal learning Game-based learning Professional training 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management, Department of Multi-Actor Systems, Section Policy AnalysisDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Independent Theatre Maker, Parsifal Playingfields, and Operadagen RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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