Adolescent Online Games and Reading

Video games and the participatory cultures they foster have emerged as an important force for learning both in and out of school. Recent research has shown that engagement in videogames can, under the right conditions, promote valued forms of thinking and learning. The goal of this research is to examine reading associated with naturally occurring online videogame play.

Reading is an often hidden but nonetheless important component of participation in videogame culture, but we have few empirical assessments of the quality and characteristics of the texts or of youth’s reading performance on them as compared with their performance on texts read in other contexts. This project seeks to answer these questions:

What types and genres of text are a regular part of videogame play?
What is the nature, function, and quality of such texts?
How does the reading performance of adolescents on such game-related texts compare to their performance on school-related texts?
What factors contribute to differences in reading performance on game-related and school-related text?
How are game-related reading activities situated within (or against) children’s everyday literacy networks across contexts, including both school and home?


Completed on May 31, 2013