Can Gee’s good (digital) game design features inform game-based sport coaching?

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Abstract
This action research (AR) study investigates the coach-as researcher's (Author 1) development of coaching pedagogy from a games based approach (GBA) informed by Gee's (2013) good digital game design features with a female soccer team in the United Kingdom (UK). Over 16 weeks observation data was collected weekly from the coach-as researcher's practice, and from one player's situated game play. Data was collected from Author 1 in the role of the coach via practice plans with evaluative notes, which were used as a context for dialogue between Author 1 the coach-as-researcher and Author 2 acting in the role of collaborative sport pedagogue. The research found that the three principles of good digital game design were consistent with pedagogical underpinnings of a GBA (empowerment, problem solving and understanding). However, it was difficult to meaningfully translate Gee's (2013) features of the principles into the coach enactment of practice sessions. The main pedagogical challenge encountered was the multiplayer pedagogical context of an invasion game like soccer. Sports practitioners concerned with being architects of designer games in a GBA for combined technical, tactical and conditioning training may benefit from considering Gee's (2013) good game design features, however, it was not clear in this study how all elements of Gee’s good game design can be meaningfully translated from the digital to the ‘physical’ sport coaching practice context.
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