Video- and computer games are an important part of youth culture, criticised in terms of sedentary lifestyles as well as held forth as an important competence for the future in terms of IT-competence. A certain type of videogames, so called exergames, is now put forward as interesting tools in schools since they combine IT-technology and physical activity.
In this symposium we will present results from a four-year study with the aim to investigate the learning regarding the body, physical activity and health that take place in young peoples playing of exergames.
The project has first investigated if teachers use videogames in health- and physical education as well as explored the arguments for doing that. Secondly, the content offered in the games regarding the body, physical activity and health has been explored in game manuals and in the game-play content. Thirdly, and in focus for this symposium, the project has explored what young people learn playing videogames and how this learning occurs. The study has been carried out through video- and audio recordings of on-going video gaming both during physical education lessons in Sweden, and when small groups of youth have played the games once a week during ten weeks.
The analysis have focused on spoken as well as embodied actions appearing in young peoples playing of different exergames. In the symposium results will be presented and discussed in relation to (i) How images of health and the human body is taught by using exergames in school, (ii) Young people’s aesthetic experiences of playing exergames, (iii) How exergames are used to teach dance in PE, and (iv) How Laban Movement Analysis can be used to understand the learning of movement qualities in game-play.
BERA Annual Conference 2014, 23rd - 25th September, Institute of Education, London