I’m Sean C. Duncan.
I’m an Assistant Professor in Indiana University‘s Learning Sciences program, and I study games and learning. I believe that games are important contexts for understanding play in everyday life, but also that games, game design, and even gaming communities provide critical sites of situated learning that can help us to rethink instruction, curricula, and educational systems more broadly. Games aren’t interesting just because they’re fun or because kids like them (which, of course, are both true). Games are important expressive media, featuring complex systems of rule sets and narratives, whose designers can have important artistic, political, or critical goals.
In my work, I’m interested in investigating the learning implications of many forms of games — digital, board, card, and role-playing games have all played roles in my current research. Recently, I have published or presented on topics ranging from informal science reasoning in World of Warcraft to co-constructed narratives around The Legend of Zelda series to the use of Minecraft in unschooling to collaboration and computational thinking in the board game Pandemic. A common thread is one of collaboration, looking at how gaming, game design, and interpretive gaming communities feature people working together.
I’m clearly in the process of revamping this site, but I’ll have plenty back up here soon enough — if you’d like to find out more about my work, I encourage you to check out my profile at IU’s School of Education website, or my academia.edu page. I can often be found discussing games, learning, food, politics, and cats on Twitter (I’m @scd).
If you’d like to find out more about what I do, I’m always happy to chat. I am actively recruiting students for a new Games & Learning Lab here in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana (and it really is beautiful!) — if you’re interested in earning a Ph.D. studying games and learning, I want to talk to you!
My personal email is my first name + my middle initial + my last name at Google’s fine electronic mail service dot com. Or, just feel free to shoot me a tweet sometime!