Videogames and (language) education
Towards a critical post-videogaming perspective
Keywords:videogames, post-digital, language teaching, critical sociolinguistics, literacy practices
There is a productive discussion concerning the use of videogames in (literacy) education, focusing on their unique pedagogic potentials and on their interconnection with contemporary developments in textual and semiotic issues. Our main aim is to extend this discussion towards a more critical post-videogaming perspective, in the sense that videogames have to be considered as part and parcel of the contemporary, complex socio-cultural and historical context. Therefore, we focus on highlighting indicative aspects of this complexity, and we adopt concepts from the field of critical sociolinguistics, such as scales, strategies, and orders of literacy. We analyze a combination of quantitative (1.185 questionnaires) and qualitative data (6 ethnographic case studies) originating from children 11-15 years old. Our analysis reveals that, although videogaming tends to be a common youth practice, the other important differences/inequalities permeating parenting strategies, school practices, and children’s literate identities remain unchanged, posing serious questions in terms of the promising educational use of videogames. We propose a historically sensitive perspective in order to connect videogames with schooling and especially L1 teaching.
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