Steinkuehler, C. (2010). Video games and digital literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(1),61-63.
This article examines the relationship between video games and digital literacy. It discusses the perspective of parents and teachers who are in opposition of video games, claiming they interfere with young students’ literacy. This article also approaches this issue from a different angle, presenting evidence of digital literacy among avid video game players via fansites, game-based fiction, writing and sharing reviews, and other digital mediums.
Much of this article presents a look at an eight-grade male student who identified as a gamer. This student expressed a love for all WWII things, including fan fiction which he both read and wrote. He scored poorly on standardized reading tests, a full three grades lower than where he should. He was non-complicit and non-participatory in his English courses to the point where the teacher assumed it was because he was unable to partake and recommended testing for accommodations. However, when this student was given the option of choosing what he wanted to read and explore, he chose material at a level much higher than his grade and performed at and independent level. This prompts the authors to suggest he was judged inaccurately with claims of lack of ability instead of looking at this as more of an interest issue where video games provide an outlet for this interest and passion.
As an educator and researcher, I have strong feelings about this situation and the relationship between video games and education. I believe we need to find methods of connecting the interests of students, the attraction and motivation they find in video games, and the material they need to learn. The relationship between video games and education can grow and support each other with more research in these areas and implementation of valid results.