What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy


Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. Gordonsville, VA, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. ProQuest ebrary. Web.

In his book What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, author James Paul Gee explains what video games have to offer users in terms of developing literacy skills, pedagogical applications, and learning principles that provide the framework for well-made video games. In the introduction, Gee begins with a central question: “what determines how you read or think about some particular thing?” (2). Throughout the introduction to his text, he pulls apart that question to identify how video games are a fruitful part of the discussion surrounding developing understandings of learning, literacy, and how to effectively teach these skills. Within each chapter of this book, Gee elaborates on a significant aspect of the relationship that video games can have to learning and acquiring literacy skills. This annotation will focus primarily on the first four chapters.   Continue reading “What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy”

Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation

Dobson, Amy Shields. Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Print.

Dobson’s critical study grapples with the question of what it means to perform femininity in contemporary digital cultures. Her book attends to both digital spheres and genres of digital media, using platforms such as social networking sites, as they span and straddle our understandings of the public and private, personal and professional. Her subjects of study are young women and the ways in which they interact with media as an expression of identity through digital self-representations. These online identities and self-representations, she argues, carry with them the political implications of negotiating conditions within post-feminist techno-social mediascapes. Dobson uses cultural theories such as the Foucauldian notion of regulation, to investigate the cultural ramifications of self-representation within a participatory and interactive culture, emphasizing the systems of power, coercion, and exploitation at play within these mediascapes. How, for example, does one negotiate their identity and agency in order to participate and belong within this growing online culture? What are the implications of submitting to these forms of control in one’s authentic representation of self? Continue reading “Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation”

Literary Gaming

lit gaming

Ensslin, Astrid. Literary Gaming. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2014. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 February 2016.

Astrid Ensslin’s book Literary Gaming examines the intersection between ludic and literary experiences. She proposes that her text will highlight the ways in which reading and gaming can be combined and presents these processes to both users and analysts. This suggests her work will be of use to practitioners in the field as well as researchers who wish to learn more about the gamefication of literature and literary studies. Ensslin argues that the fusion of linguistic arts and videogame technologies is both necessary and mutually beneficial (for both computer gaming and electronic/digital literature). Continue reading “Literary Gaming”