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Digital Game Competence: Literacy or Repertoire?
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesisAlternative title
Spelkompetens (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Context. Digital games are an important application of software due to its growing popularity in society. As digital games are introduced in a growing number of homes we see a rapidly extending user base ranging from young to elderly. Since digital games now have reached beyond the early adopters and now engage a range of users that are more unfamiliar with the context of digital games and thus less trained and schooled in the clichés of digital games, the importance of previous knowledge in the digital games area are entering a sort of common knowledge to interpret and make meaning of society. Objectives. The thesis cover two related aspects of basic digital game competences; firstly a theoretical review of the topic that secondly is followed by a study where we investigate how experienced players learn to play a digital game together and which types of activities they utilize in order to do so. Methods. This thesis consists of two parts with different methods; a review of the term and concept of game literacy as well as a case study performed as an interaction analysis of players engaging with a new digital game. For the second part the interaction analysis was conducted in three phases 1) recording of players and notes of timestamps of interesting situations, 2) actual interaction analysis and transcribing and 3) review. To be able to show a modus operandi for the players’ interaction and learning situations, a single pair of players were selected, and therefore also allowed for a chronological presentation of the play session and learning situations. Results. In the first part of the thesis we present our results concerning that the use of the term game literacy is not consistent throughout the discourse, but rather two different viewpoints. Furthermore we suggest a taxonomy that allow for a more continuous view of game literacy knowledge than previously presented. Secondly we show that competences from previous games not always allow for a more efficient play performance due to the fact that different games have different cognitive schemas. Conclusions. We conclude that concepts like game literacy and “the player’s repertoire” where it is suggested that the player builds on previous knowledge to perform better within any game should be viewed with more criticism than previously. Previous experience of how a game function and the solution to solve problems in other games may not be fruitful at all. Players that utilize the same cognitive schemas they developed in other games could be hindered when trying to play a new game. Furthermore we conclude that the “reflective” learning style that other researchers (i.e. Gee) refer to, when playing games, is not the only one and that the players take some time to reach a reflecting level during play.

Abstract [sv]

Dagens brukare av datorsystem bär med sig en annan förståelse och förmåga att använda datorsystem och programvara än tidigare. Denna annorlunda förståelse finns genom bruket av andra plattformar än traditionella PC med den s.k. skrivbordsmetaforen (t.ex. Windows eller Mac OS). Exempel på andra plattformar är iPhone, surfplattor, spelkonsoller etc. Eftersom denna typ av brukare är van vid andra former är det intressant hur dessa brukare lär sig använda datorsystem och programvara. Inom ramen för uppsatsen undersöks vilka lärsituationer erfarna användare går genom vid bruket av programvara för underhållning. Flertalet av brukarna i fallstudien faller tillbaka på kognitiva schema för att lösa problem de ställs inför. Många gånger är dessa kognitiva schema olämpliga för effektivt lösande av problemen. En liknelse för användningen av ett kognitivt schema är att brukaren går in på en lunchrestaurang med självservering men prompt förväntar sig en restaurang med hovmästare, kypare och meny. Vissa brukare går till och med så långt i liknelsen att de går ut ur (den bildliga) restaurangen och in i igen för att pröva om någon hovmästare märker dem denna gång.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
Game literacy, situated play, player interaction, social interaction, digital games
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-5756Local ID: diva2:833156
+46733-461693Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2011-09-28 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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