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The Game Object Model and expansive learning: Creation, instantiation, expansion, and re-representation
In this paper, the collaborative development, instantiation, expansion and re-representation as research instrument of the Game Object Model (GOM) are explored from a Cultural Historical Activity Theory perspective. The aim of the paper is to develop insights into the design, integration, evaluation and use of video games in learning and teaching. The first part of the research deductively analyses the historical development of the GOM over the past 12 years against the expansive learning cycle. Thereafter the open-ended reflections of participants who attended a workshop to re-represent the GOM as an instrument to evaluate computer games for the classroom were analyzed using both interpretive and deductive qualitative approaches. The development of the GOM and associated models showed that the prime unit of analysis was collective, tool-mediated and object-oriented activity. Findings show that, during each expansive learning cycle, the model functioned first as object and then as tool. Analyses of the activity associated with the development of the GOM instrument to evaluate computer video games fostered individual understanding of the role of games in education and transformed world views in all non-positivist participants. The development of the GOM and associated models supported multiple points of view in which activity system and individual contradictions drove expansive learning cycles and individual transformations. Future research should investigate the efficacy of the GOM-based game evaluation instrument developed as a product of this research.