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Play the game.

I have created this game level for the purpose of this dissertation, in order to illustrate the principle being discussed.

Game 3 Hit and Run [designed and created by S. Bezzina]


Metaplay refers to higher order thinking over the cognitive processes involved in play.

The player, the partner, the guns

Knowledge and skills are distributed amongst the players and surrounding technologies (Gee 2007).


Collaborative efforts allow players to achieve expertise (Squire 2008, Steinkuehler 2004) through cognitive apprenticeship (Collins et al 1989).

I’m out of shields...

Peer interaction and dialogue are central to affective teamwork (de Freitas 2006).

Figure 13 Principle 3: Metaplay [edited and adapted by S. Bezzina] (Sploder #1 n.d.)

Games, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), facilitate collaboration amongst players (de Freitas and Griffith 2007), predominantly through increased levels of motivation and engagement, which are essential to successful teamwork (Davies 2009). As such, a game-informed approach postulates that assessment and learning are indeed a social practice, resulting from extended actions and interactions between the assesses and with the assessor (Davies 2009). This helps the learner, very much like the player, to acquire and further develop crucial problem-solving and critical thinking skills, by observing and learning from experts (Hennessy 1993). The students’ higher-order and more complex thinking skills are thus strengthened (Hwang et al 2009) through a cognitive apprenticeship model (Collins et al 1989) approach to assessment. Such context favours the development of affinity groups (Gee 2007) and communities of practice (Squire 2003), which in turn facilitate interaction and dialogue around learning (Nicol and MacFarlane-Dick 2006, Rust 2007). For instance, collaborative planning and writing in online learning environments (Alvarez et al 2012), involving the use of wikis, foster a socially constructed form of assessment through which a shared understanding of knowledge (Hargreaves 2007), allows students to explore and improve their own learning (Willey and Gardner 2010). Moreover, such strategies represent optimal means through which information and knowledge are conserved through time (Naismith et al 2011).

Principle 3

Collaboration and cognitive apprenticeship are facilitated through peer interaction