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Redesigning tabletop games as Culturally-Sustaining Pedagogy

Principal Investigator: Dr. Beaumie Kim

Co-PI: Jerremie Clyde

In this project, we investigated the use of tabletop game redesign as a way to promote culturally sustaining pedagogy, which focuses on embracing linguistic and cultural pluralism. Past studies showed that tabletop games could provide a unique form of engagement and play that could facilitate interaction between people from different backgrounds and encourage players to imagine and negotiate new possibilities.

Our study found that game redesign by families could provide a space for them to evaluate the underlying ideas, values, and belief systems in games. This process also allowed family members to make their individual views on different aspects of games explicit and engage in new relationship configurations. The study observed that children's culture and previous media engagements influenced the families' game design ideas and repositioned power dynamics in the family. The families focused mainly on expressing their interests through the design and used intergenerational differences, cultural practices, and disciplinary practices as resources for their social learning. This study suggests that tabletop game redesign activities help families accept and appreciate their differences, sustain their varying interests and perspectives, and promote social learning.


Read more in this article: Bastani, Kim & Clyde-2023

Examples of families' redesigned games (read more in Bastani, Kim & Clyde-2023)


This family of four, with a Chinese background, decided to redesign the Game of Life board game. They chose to redesign this game to make it more relevant to their current and future experiences by changing the game theme and choices including career options in one’s life path.


This family of four (Caucasian) decided to redesign the card game Love Letter. Their 5th-grade daughter led this family project of redesigning Love Letter to correspond to her current favourite book series, Warriors by Erin Hunter. 


This family of three who are Mexican immigrants, redesigned the board game Survive. Their goal was to create a cooperative version of the competitive game Survive. 


Publications on this project

Bastani, R., Kim, B. & Clyde, J. (2023). Refiguring the positioning through tabletop game redesign: What it means to engage in culturally-sustaining learning as a family. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the Learning Sciences-ICLS 2023. International Society of the Learning Sciences.

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