Document Type


Publication Date



SAGE Publications


Scholars, educators, and media designers are increasingly interested in whether and how digital games might contribute to civic learning. However, there are three main barriers to advancing understanding of games’ potential for civic education: the current practices of formal schooling, a dearth of evidence about what kinds of games best inspire learning about public life, and divergent paradigms of civic engagement. In response, this article develops a conceptual framework for how games might foster civic learning of many kinds. The authors hypothesize that the most effective games for civic learning will be those that best integrate game play and content, that help players make connections between their individual actions and larger social structures, and that link ethical and expedient reasoning. This framework suggests an agenda for game design and research that could illuminate whether and how games can be most fruitfully incorporated into training and education for democratic citizenship and civic leadership.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.