Learning from Social Impact Games to Support Integration into Middle School Classrooms

  • Renee E. Jackson
  • Emily Sheepy
Living reference work entry


Video games known interchangeably as social justice, social impact, or social change games hold great potential for integration into classroom learning. They are promising particularly because they tend to be easy to play, are free or inexpensive, and, given that they address social justice-related issues in various ways, can be more easily integrated with curricular goals for teachers who may not have much gaming experience. Drawing from two qualitative research projects, with female youth ages 11–14 (n = 74; n = 11), and centered around one particular game, Get Water!, guidelines are considered for game design intended for classroom use and informal learning, approaches toward assessment of learning, and suggestions for effective instructional practice. With girls at the middle school level in particular, building relationships with video games is important, as video games are considered by many scholars to be one way of developing or maintaining an interest and comfort with technology at a young age, in a world where technology and video game domains continue to be dominated by men. Informed by studies with girls, the purpose of this qualitative synthesis is to reflect on strategies for integrating casual games that can be played and understood reasonably quickly in learning contexts, yet are also in line with student-centered learning and goals related to the twenty-first-century learning trend, such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.


Video games Social impact games Social change games Social justice Classroom integration Twenty-first-century learning Progressive education Social science Technology Gender Critical citizenship education 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Concordia UniversityMontréalCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rob Power
    • 1
  1. 1.Athabasca UniversityVancouverCanada

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