Games, game play and the Magic Circle:Integrating games into the middle school classroom
Abstract: : Games, models and simulations have been touted as a dynamic alternative to the more traditional classroom strategies. But what are the elements of a “game” that makes it useful for schools? Game play is recursive. Games create a tangible artifact, moves on a game board. Further the artifact itself is dynamic and changes over time. This is why games are such a useful activity for the classroom. The artifact focuses engagement and interest in itself, attracts the student’s attention, increases communication and symbolizes the pursuit of a common goal. However using games in the classroom is dependent on what Huizinga terms the Magic Circle. By maintaining an unbroken magic circle, games, simulations and models can be an effective and motivating teaching strategy.