A model for games and literacy
English curriculum today, in Australia as elsewhere, is built on a view of literacy that includes but extends beyond traditional print and oral forms to include the digital, multimodal forms of text and literacy brought about through Information and Communication Technologies. The Australian Curriculum: English, for example aims to ensure that students 剬earn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2010) Curriculum and teaching that combines literacy and technology needs to help students become capable, critical and creative in both print and digital forms. To do so, however, it needs to go beyond teaching mastery of print forms to develop fuller understandings and capabilities in digital texts and literacies. This requires a way of thinking about multimodal forms of text and literacy that is not framed by assumptions about print and verbal forms, but, rather, recognises the particular qualities or "affordances" of multimodal forms, and starts from there. In this project, we set out to learn more about how to think about and understand the cultural artefacts variously called "computer games," "video games" or "digital games" from the point of view of English and literacy curriculum and teaching. Computer games, as popular, complex and sophisticated examples of digital culture, are an important part of many students' lives. They are also an important context for many students for a wide range of meaning-making and communicative activity. A central challenge for teachers in the project in planning curriculum around computer games was how to combine perspectives from the standpoint of English Curriculum on the one hand, with its traditional concerns with text and literacy, with the very different contexts, skills and operations entailed in playing computer games. How should we understand computer games, and the practices and actions entailed in playing? Should we think about games as text, or think of them more in terms of action? In this chapter, we discuss digital games from both points of view - as action and as text. We outline key elements and arguments from each perspective, and present a model that combines both views, as a framework for curriculum planning.
Digital Games: Literacy in Action
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)