Learning and Literacy by Games

James Paul Gee is one of the renowned scholars and authors in the field of New Literacies Studies. Most of Gee’s work over the last few years focused on the study and analysis of digital and video games. His book ” What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy” is a culmination of his work in this field.

In this book, Gee analyses some popular games such as first-person shooter games, fantasy role-playing games, real-time strategy games, and simulation games and draws out a set of learning principles that are embedded within these games and which make them  more engaging, challenging, and ultimately fun to play. Comparing the kind of learning that takes place in these gaming affinity spaces to the one that take place in school environments, Gee found out that the “levels of textual and cognitive interaction in traditional schooling are decidedly wanting” (Kalantzis & Cope,  “Literacies” ).

Gee contends that gaming affinity spaces where gamers get to virtually meet and discuss the content of their games, help each other solve game-related problems, these spaces are multimodal sites of literacy in which students navigate narratives as powerful as any in the literary canon.” They do this as character, as players, as actors in the narrative. They negotiate text and image.”

Upon the analysis of several video games , Gee sketched out some of the main benefits these games have for learning and literacy. The table below taken from Literacies(a book I am reading this week) features some of them.

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