Jeroen Bourgonjon

Photo of Jeroen Bourgonjon

I am an FWO research fellow interested in what we learn from playing video games either at home with our friends (informal learning) or in the classroom (formal learning). To explore these issues, I apply both qualitative (rhetorical and case study analysis, interviews) and quantitative research methods (questionnaire and quasi experimental research).

My research is inspired by an enthusiasm about the new and emerging meaning-making processes in video games, but it is also marked by a disappointment with the sometimes uncritical appraisal of games in mainstream media and research. Therefore, I examine the usefulness of rhetorical theory to stimulate a critical approach of video games. A central issue is whether video games share the same qualities as other media and/or art forms, such as literature and film. Can we describe games as "Equipment for living" or as "Company we keep" much like Kenneth Burke and Wayne Booth referred to literature? Do games induce an attitude of global citizenship (cfr. Nussbaum's idea of the narrative imagination)? And how do games influence our social structures?

From the perspective of formal education, I explore how video games can be used in traditional classrooms and in teacher training programs. I analyze how the different stakeholders in education - i.e. teachers, students and their parents - think about games as educational tools. In addition, I introduce games in the classroom to examine their impact on students' learning, pedagogical beliefs and literacy narratives.

Since May 2013, I serve as the Chair of the Flemish chapter of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA Flanders).