Drawing on empirical research conducted with games design tutors and students within higher education, this article addresses the imaginaries that students draw to develop ideas and design games as they negotiate a transition from being players to designers. The article outlines tutors'
efforts to prepare students as industry ready and expand the cultural and historical resources that students draw on in design. These efforts are compared with approaches employed within critical media education and the article moves to outline the thinking with games methodology which I experimented
with to explore students' emerging designerly relationships with games. Distinctively, and resonating with critical media education, I introduced explicitly politically motivated games to students. The article explores the questions that emerged from this process on the specificity of students'
engagement with the game mechanics and content of explicitly politically motivated games, and issues of practice, theory and values in design.
The Journal of Media Practice is a peer-reviewed publication addressing practical work in media teaching and research. To this end, the editorial board and consultative panels comprise prominent academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines committed to the achievement of academic and professional ends through means centred on practical work.