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Press play to grow!: Designing video games as "Trojan Horses" to catalyze and integrate human development

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Abstract

This article explores the potential of video games as an interactive entertainment medium with unprecedented capacities for enacting novel educational and developmental practices. Based on three field applications of Integral Research, six different methodologies were applied to explore the potential applications of video games to catalyze and integrate horizontal and vertical human development (also referred to as translation and transformation). Various qualitative and quantitative studies were conducted, including phenomenological and structural analyses of the researcher; discussions with leading integral practitioners, video game critics, and designers; an online survey; attendance of video game conferences and events; and extensive review of the literature related to the educational and developmental potentials of video games. These potentials were not only accessed and validated by various methodological data, but also categorized into an Integral- Developmental Trojan Horse (INDENTRO) video game design framework. The INDENTRO framework applies a Trojan Horse approach for catalyzing and integrating human development through the medium of video games, based on complementary applications of the AQAL model, Integral Life Practice, and Integral Play.

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... Games for Change, a non-profit organization, was established in 2004 to support the development of digital games for social change through a membership that represents hundreds of organizations and includes partners in the gaming industry, academia, non-profits, local and state governments, foundations, the UN, and artists [59], having evolved from The Serious Games Initiative founded at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, in 2002 [60]. Silbiger has laid the foundation for the design of Integrally informed video games [61] and Gackenbach's on-going research indicates that video game play may be changing consciousness in a positive manner [62]. In 2007, UCLA Extension and Fielding Graduate University launched a master's degree in media psychology and social change [63]. ...
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