Beyond Bait: Video Games and Literacy

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Presented at the On the Front Lines Conference, Springfield, IL March 16, 2010

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  • Have to recognize what games are to utilize them effectively.These ideas come from Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnsonis not to say that these are opposites, one is better than another – I’m just trying to compare and contrast how video games work vs. how books work.Games reward the pleasure-centers of the brain with rewardsGames are less like books and more like story problems (or logic puzzles)
  • Beyond Bait: Video Games and Literacy

    1. 1. Beyond Bait: Video Games and Literacy<br />Maggie Hommel<br />University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign<br />
    2. 2. This will not be about:<br />
    3. 3. Will be about:<br />
    4. 4. Why Librarians Should Care…<br />97% of U.S. teens 12-17 play video games<br />Source: Pew Research, “Teens, Video Games and Civics” 2008<br />
    5. 5. Why Librarians Should Care…<br />87% of 8-18 year-olds have a game console in their home<br />8-10 year old boys are the biggest gamers- 73% play on any given day<br />
    6. 6. Why Librarians Should Care…<br />PEW Research Center, “Adults and Video Games”<br />
    7. 7. Why Librarians Should Care…<br />Could video games be good for the brain and cognitive development?<br />James Paul Gee<br />Eric Klopfer, MIT<br />Marc Prenksy<br />
    8. 8. Why Librarians Should Care<br />
    9. 9. Why Librarians Should Care…<br />
    10. 10. Video Games = Bait?<br />
    11. 11. Or something more…<br />
    12. 12. Not All Games Are Alike…<br />Complex Games<br /> Simple or Mini-Games<br />
    13. 13. Defining Literacy <br />Read & Write (functional)<br />Comprehension <br />Discuss / Write About<br />Flow<br />Critique /Analyze<br />Video games can enhance at each level<br />
    14. 14. Defining Literacy<br />Multimodal<br />
    15. 15. Defining Literacy<br />Social<br />
    16. 16. Defining Literacy<br />Situated<br />
    17. 17. Defining Literacy<br />Technical<br />
    18. 18. Video Games and Literacy<br />Content <br />vs. <br />Critical Learning<br />28<br />2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2<br />
    19. 19. Video Games and Literacy<br />Semiotic Domains in video games<br />Text is essentially a set of symbols that readers decode<br />All symbols are embedded in specific “domains”<br />Imagine reading a rule book about basketball without ever seeing, playing, or hearing about a game<br />
    20. 20. Video Games and Literacy<br />Design Grammars<br />
    21. 21. Video Games and Literacy<br />Video games teach how to learn, navigate, and interpret semiotic domains <br />
    22. 22. Video Games and Literacy<br />Intertextuality<br />
    23. 23. Video Games and Literacy<br />Transfer<br />
    24. 24. Video Games and Literacy<br />Are Video Games Narrative?<br />Yes: embedded stories<br />No: stories peripheral<br />
    25. 25. Video Games and Literacy<br /><ul><li>Books vs. Video Games</li></ul>Source: Johnson, Steven. <br />Everything Bad is Good For You (2005)<br />
    26. 26. Video Games and Literacy<br /><ul><li>Embodied Experience</li></li></ul><li>Video Games and Literacy<br /><ul><li>Narrative Desire</li></li></ul><li>Video Games and Literacy<br />Stories IN Games Stories ABOUT Games<br />
    27. 27. Video Games and Literacy<br />AASL 21st Standards for the 21st Century Learner<br />
    28. 28. Video Games and Literacy<br />
    29. 29. Real Game Examples<br />Myst (rated Everyone)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8npW85PW0s<br />
    30. 30. Real Game Examples<br />Final Fantasy XII (rated Teen)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCJJALqGQHM&feature=PlayList&p=977479D95F542BBF&index=2<br />
    31. 31. Real Game Examples<br />Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Teen)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69EBDlnDw2k<br />
    32. 32. Real Game Examples<br />Portal (Teen, Part of Orange Box)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TluRVBhmf8w<br />
    33. 33. Library Applications<br /><ul><li>Wofford College Shared Worlds
    34. 34. http://sharedworlds.wofford.edu</li></li></ul><li>Library Applications<br /><ul><li>Fan Fiction @ Englewood Public Library (CO)
    35. 35. http://eplcoolcafe.wordpress.com/tag/fan-fiction/</li></li></ul><li>Library Applications<br /><ul><li>Free Web 2.0 Tools
    36. 36. http://www.digitalstoryteller.org/
    37. 37. http://www.voki.com/</li></li></ul><li>Library Applications<br />Clubs and Discussion Groups<br />http://www.etc.cmu.edu/etcpress/node/279<br />
    38. 38. Questions?<br />Maggie Hommel<br />mhommel2@uiuc.edu<br />

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