AN ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE FUTURE FOR TABLETOP GAMES AND LEARNING: PARADIGMS AND APPROACHES
1 Lusófona University, CICANT (PORTUGAL)
2 Lusófona University, HEI-Lab (PORTUGAL)
3 Lusófona University, HEI-Lab; LIBPhys – Laboratory of Instrumentation, Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Physics (PORTUGAL)
4 Hellenic Open University, DAISSy group (GREECE)
5 LSBU, London Centre for Business and Entrepreneurship Research (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:In recent years, the social perspective on disability has been changing, abandoning the more traditional medical paradigm, and replaced by more socially and contextually aware methods. In this sense, disability is now seen as a social construct, as the inability to accommodate the personal requirements of each individual. This has prompted changes in both educational interventions and media creation frameworks, based on paradigms that promote inclusivity. Considering the recognized social and educational potential of tabletop games, and their recognized potential for inclusion intervention, it makes sense to look at this medium and how it can advocate the inclusion of each player’s needs.
The present study was developed within the scope of TEGA (2020-1-UK01-KA203-079248, a project that intends to foster changes in the educational landscape of Higher Education (HE), by using analogical Game-Based Learning (GBL) approaches for delivering consistent playfulness, and reducing the existing barriers and hindrances for students. The use of tabletop games provides advantages over digital games in cost, ease of deployment, adaptation, and player involvement. Tabletop games encourage player involvement in ways that digital games do not, since the players themselves have to “activate” the different game components for the game to run. Successfully employing a tabletop games approach for the necessities of GBL, requires that the latter consistently recognizes the requirements of each student's learning process, in turn empowering instructors to accommodate those needs. Therefore, the present study presents a framework to rethink educational tabletop games’ accessibility, based on a model that operationalizes four pillars: inclusive design; biopsychosocial consideration of players’ needs; and intersectional accessibility. The framework also provides some evidence-based insights into the assessment of learners to foster accessibility in game-based educational interventions, namely through de-medicalized, collaborative, and participatory strategies. The framework highlights the relevance of game designers' – teacher or not – awareness of the current disability paradigms, namely their ability to acknowledge the role of contextual factors, and their centrality in the accessibility of tabletop games. This includes further reflections on how a game or an educational strategy is framed on the social model of disability, inclusive education, or proactive accessibility practices. Regarding the results, it is also possible to mention that there are several dimensions of accessibility needs – motor, sensory, or cognitive – that can be translated into different practical features in tabletop gaming. Moreover, considering human diversity as part of tabletop GBL implies intersectional consideration of these needs, with an emphasis on the potential barriers and hindrances for player in-game actions.
Keywords: Tabletop Games, Game-Based Learning, Accessibility, Inclusion, Disability, Intersectionality.