Learning with games is perceived as highly motivating and engaging, fostering critical thinking and problem solving skills. Choosing games for classroom use however can be a difficult process. In addition to examining the content, we propose that aesthetics of digital games can indicate important information for evaluating games. Using an example we explain how aesthetics of gaming environments reveal the core learning concepts and provide complexities for deeper engagement. Our paper elucidates ways in which aesthetics provide a socio-cultural context for learners and contribute to motivations and emotions resulting in cognitive engagements.
Gupta, D., Kim, B. "Connecting Aesthetics and Engagement in Game Based Learning". 2014. In P. Preciado Babb (Ed.). Proceedings of the IDEAS: Rising to Challenge Conference, pp. 81-90. Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.