Vol. 14 No. 3 (2023):
Research Article

Gaming & Geography (Education): A Model of Reflexive Analysis of Space & Action in Video Games

Michael Morawski
Institute of Geography and Primary Education, Bergische Universität Wuppertal (University of Wuppertal), Germany
Sebastian Wolff-Seidel
Institute of Geography and Primary Education, Bergische Universität Wuppertal (University of Wuppertal), Germany
Model of reflexive analysis of space and action in video games: own design based on ideas of (Morawski, 2023; Gryl, 2012; Ash, 2012; Schell, 2012; Lux & Budke, 2020a,b; Applis, 2022; Kanwischer, 2014; Ash et al., 2018)

Published 2023-07-10


  • geography education,
  • critical geography,
  • gaming,
  • video games,
  • deconstruction,
  • gamification,
  • reflexive competences,
  • spatial turn,
  • cultural turn,
  • teacher professionalization,
  • digital media
  • ...More

How to Cite

Morawski, Michael, and Sebastian Wolff-Seidel. 2023. “Gaming & Geography (Education): A Model of Reflexive Analysis of Space & Action in Video Games”. European Journal of Geography 14 (3):1-19. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.m.mor.
Received 2023-05-24
Accepted 2023-07-06
Published 2023-07-10


Since philosophical turns such as the spatial turn etc., geography has been dealing more intensively with the subjective perception and construction of space. Video games, and especially the vast digital spaces therein, are developed by teams of programmers, developers, and designers who make creative spatial construction decisions based on different worldviews, experiences, values, and skills. These processes result in a specific intended spatial experience for players to traverse. However, these players also approach the games with certain worldviews, prior experiences, values, etc., and the question arises to what extent spatial experiences can be intentionally passed through and what consequences the perception has for the (young) players we address with geography instruction. Thus, there is undoubtedly communication between both sides about digital space in video games. Furthermore, the question arises what role the creation of digital spaces in the games plays for the experience, understanding and reception of real analog spaces as well as for the further competences of students like, exemplary, in the field of sustainability or decision reflections. Thus, it cannot be dismissed that an engagement with video games should play a stronger role in the context of addressing the reflection of spatial perceptions and constructions in geography education. Yet, they are still largely underrepresented in studies of geography education and many studies lack sufficient empirical proof and orientation for teacher professionalization. In the paper, results from the research project "Gaming & Geography" will be presented, which attempts to create further legitimizing foundations for the integration of video games as a medium in the didactic discourse of geography via a mixed method a-proach and transfer services for teachers. Based on the research in the project, a model for reflexive analysis of digital space and action in video games will also be presented, which should facilitate a stronger and more serious didactic integration of video games in geographic education. The results of the study provide a significant contribution to take the medium of video games as a geographical medium more seriously and the study provides further establishment measures to use the presented model didactically, because they show that students actively engage in geographic contexts in games, they reflect on the contexts presented and the experts encourage the necessity of the presented model.


  • Strengthening the discourse around video games as a geographic medium
  • Discussion of the model of reflexive spatial analysis of digital space in video games in geography education
  • Quantitative and qualitative empirical approaches and results towards spatial reflection regarding digital space/action in video games


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