Situating Ethics in Games Education


  • Joy Butler University of British Columbia


This paper posits that Inventing Games (IG), an aspect of the games curriculum based on principles of Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU), opens up important spaces for teaching social and ethical understanding. Games have long been regarded as a site for moral development. For most teachers, however, ethical principles have been seen as incidental rather than teachable. Preliminary findings from two studies with students and teachers have shown that students can question foundational knowledge, such as constructs around gender, race, and ability, as they work together to design game structures. Thus, IG processes can foreground ethical decision-making in both game construction and game play.

Keywords: ethics, Curriculum Inventing Games, physical education, Teaching Games for Understanding

Author Biography

Joy Butler, University of British Columbia

Dept of Currlculum and Pedagogy

Associate Professor

PE Graduate Coordinator




How to Cite

Butler, J. (2014). Situating Ethics in Games Education. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 36(4), 93. Retrieved from