- Author: Jonathan deHaan
- Reviewed by: Jonathon Reinhardt, Aaron Chia Yuan Hung
- Volume and page numbers: 2 (p. 115 – 139)
- Date of publication: 2020/07/22
- Keywords: GBLT, Hype cycle, Integration, Normalization, Pedagogy, Praxis
- Cite: deHaan, J. (2020). Game-based language teaching is vaporware (Part 1 of 2): Examination of research reports. Ludic Language Pedagogy (2), 115-139.
These papers explore the idea of academic research as an “industry” that can create useful knowledge and “products” for teachers. This paper (Part 1) begins by explaining my motivation for examining research reports of game-based language teaching and my consideration of what different readers might appreciate. I then differentiate game-based language teaching from game-based language learning and gamification, and from theoretical and experimental publications. I introduce and describe my 14 theoretical, practical and research-focused questions and criteria for examining reports of GBLT. I then use these questions to examine 28 reports of GBLT; each is explored in a section that describes its importance to GBLT, how GBLT reports have (and have not) prioritized that criteria, and why including that criteria in research could improve game-based language teaching. Academic reports of game-based language teaching over the last 20 years, with a few exceptions, demonstrate a lack of interest in teachers and teaching practices. In my opinion, GBLT as a research field is vaporware. Like a game that has been announced but never shipped, GBLT has been hyped but never fully reported. I end this paper by inviting readers to participate in a contest.