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What is Game Literacy

Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches
Entails the ability to decode and understand meanings with respect to the semiotic domain of games but also the ability to produce meanings. In acknowledging the interactive nature of the games, understanding has therefore becomes analogous with the ability to access content, i.e. play.
Published in Chapter:
Game Literacy: Assessing its Value for Both Classification and Public Perceptions of Games in a New Zealand Context
Gareth Schott (University of Waikato, New Zealand) and Neil Selwyn (London Knowledge Lab, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-495-0.ch009
Game playing is made possible by players’ engagement in configurative practices that work in conjunction with interpretive practices, referring to how a viewer’s semiotic work on the text (when reading and interpreting it) is taken directly from the semiotic resources that are put to use and made available by the text itself. That is, games are dynamic entities that remain ‘in potentia’ until actualised by the player. In doing so, the player is involved in recursive actions that produce polysemic performances and readings. The literacy demands of games support the argument that it is a ‘mistake’ to consider that [they] offer only one type of experience and foster one type of engagement (Newman, 2002). Yet, when applied to the processes of media regulation and classifying game content (which guides the general publics’ understanding of games), the competencies required to engage successfully with interactive texts fail to receive accurate representation or acknowledgment. This chapter addresses how the rise of new forms of literacy, has created a discrepancy between the literacy employed by digital natives when playing games and the way digital immigrants classify games by attributing greater meaning to the ‘screen’ as the major carrier of information. The central thesis of this chapter is to present an argument for classification processes to account for the contributions to knowledge from theory and research examining game based learning.
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