Parsifal a Game Opera: Experiential Learning in Gameful Performance Art

Rens Kortmann, Arlon Luijten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Richard Wagner’s Parsifal was recently rewritten and performed as a‘game opera’.We used observations, questionnaires, and interviews to study howthe 700+ audience were facilitated to experientially learn about the show’s mainthemes: compassion and collaboration. This case study contributed to ourunderstanding how performance art may improve games for learning and trainingpurposes, many of which now are notoriously ‘boring’. We concluded thatperformance art’s main contribution, in particular to games discussing fundamentalvalues such as compassion, is to captivate players and ‘lure’ them intotheir natural behaviour. Thus the Parsifal game opera emotionally confronted itsaudience with their – callous and selfish – behaviour and intensified their learningthrough embodied experiences. However, some players lacked time and supportto (collectively) reflect on their experiences and lacked catharsis. Therefore, werecommend using gameful performance art for learning and training purposes,provided that all activities in experiential learning are sufficiently facilitated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 5th International Conference, GALA 2016, LNCS 10056
Subtitle of host publicationGames and Learning Alliance
EditorsR. Bottino, Johan Jeuring, Remco Veltkamp
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-50182-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventGames and Learning Alliance: 5th International Conference, GALA 2016 - Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Dec 20167 Dec 2016
Conference number: 2016

Publication series

NameLecture notes in computer science


ConferenceGames and Learning Alliance
Abbreviated titleGALA
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Post-print version


  • Real-life games
  • Performance arts
  • Interactive drama
  • Experiential learning
  • Informal learning
  • Game-based learning
  • Professional training


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