Empirical research is growing about both the learning opportunities that can be derived from video games and the effectiveness of digital game-based learning (DGBL) in formal education. However, the resulting evidence is conflicting and inconclusive. A likely explanation is that the underlying theoretical frameworks do not sufficiently address the full complexity of learning with video games in a formal educational context. This post-doctoral research project focuses on the extension and validation of existing models for understanding and assessing DGBL in formal contexts, by addressing (1) the learning opportunities evoked by particular game mechanics, (2) stakeholders’ actual use of video games, (3) school conditions and school improvement conditions, (4) socio-cultural factors, and (5) learning outcomes at the individual and social level. A mixed method research approach is adopted to account for the interdisciplinary nature of DGBL, DGBL research, and the specific research objective. The proposed research program includes a pretestposttest quasi-experimental study, an interview study, a rhetorical study, and an instrument validation study that builds on the results of the other studies. All research studies are imbedded in international collaborations and will be submitted for publication to high quality, peer reviewed SSCI-journals.