Björn Berg Marklund
School of Informatics
My background is in game design and the development and study of 'Serious Games'. In January 2016, I finished my PhD where I researched digital game-based learning and its place in formal educational settings. An overarching theme in my research has been to emphasise the importance of pragmatic systems-oriented perspectives in the discourse, research, use, and development of educational games.
Game-based learning research
In my research on game-based learning I have frequently collaborated with developers and educators working with educational games, and I have experienced both success and failure when it comes to both creating games and applying them in classroom environments. Seeing how teachers and principals work with educational games, and how developers work to create them, has revealed some interesting contradictions in what we usually tend to think and say that educational games can do and what they might feasibly achieve.
This discrepancy was essentially the focus of my PhD research, which has been presented in my licentiate thesis "Games in Formal Educational Settings: Obstacles for the development and use of learning games" published in 2013, and in my PhD dissertation "Unpacking Digital Game-Based Learning: The complexities of developing and using educational games" published in 2016. Some published interviews that summarise my thesis work well can be found in Skolvärlden and Skolporten, and at Forskning.se and Skolverket, and an English press-release that covers it can be found here.
Other research topics
Beyond studying educational games, I also have an interest in understanding the nature and history of the games industry and game education. I primarily engaged in this type of research in 2011, 2013, and 2016, and the outcome was a series of reports that surveyed and analysed the Swedish and Scandinavian game industries, tertiary game educations, and business incubation environments. The produced reports produced have been included in the Association of Swedish Game Developers' archives, but can also be found in my list of publications (which is only accessible through the Swedish version of this website - you can change language settings in the top right corner of your browser window).
I also have a broader interest in game studies and game development as a whole, and try to explore different types of venues where I see natural couplings between the two; for example games user research, and explorations of how different types of game- and interface designs elicit different types of meaning-making and interpretations.