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Spela leka eller låta bli: Guitar Hero som kommunikativ praktik för unga musiker
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.
2011 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since 2005, the music related console game Guitar Hero has been sold in huge numbers and widely spread. Young people who study and/or play music often have experienced both gaming and music through taking on the game. Recent studies indicate that Guitar Hero affects conditions for music education (Ericsson & Lindgren, 2010) and that children refer to the game in conversation about music and musicality (Hellgren, 2011). In this study, theories on multimodality (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2001) are used, along with related perspectives on design for learning (Selander, 2008b) and discourse analysis (Gee 2005a), as a starting point for understanding and analysing Guitar Hero gaming as a communicative practice. The overall aim of this study is to explore conditions for young musicians’ communication (and thereby learning) in the communicative practice and context offered by Guitar Hero. The following research questions are generated: ‐ What strategies and discourses are visualised through actions by the informants in this communicative practice? ‐ What affordances and restrictions regarding communication and meaning making (and thereby learning) does this practice offer, when the informants articulate and act in relation to these discourses? In order to answer these questions a gaming session in a youth centre was conducted with a small group of young musicians, who also attended a specialised music programme in an upper secondary school. A video documentation of this session is the main empirical material in this study. The results of the analysis process are formed as case descriptions that visualise important strategies articulated in the informants’ way of handling the gaming situation in question. Further analysis reveals what discourses about Guitar Hero gaming the informant articulates, and what communicative affordances and restrictions are visualised in the current communicative situation. The results indicate that Guitar Hero offers a nuanced communicative practice. Using available communicative resources the informants are able to articulate knowledge of both digital games and music. Doing so they simultaneously express a situated identity, with a clear connectedness to the identity and musicianship articulated in the school context. In the collectively articulated discourse on Guitar Hero as different from playing music, three gamer positions stand out as socially accepted and favoured ways of approaching the game: The serious gamer, The playing gamer and The uninterested gamer. Guitar Hero stands out as a communicative practice offering opportunities to use and express musical knowledge and perception under the condition that this is not articulated as musical knowledge or playing music.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2011.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Research subject
Music Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-25911Local ID: bad7838f-673d-41bd-a480-c4891698072cOAI: diva2:999069
Godkänd; 2011; 20110513 (jenide); LICENTIATSEMINARIUM Ämnesområde: Musikpedagogik/Music Education Examinator: Professor Christer Wiklund, Institutionen för konst, kommunikation och lärande, Luleå tekniska universitet Diskutant: Docent Tore West, Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogiskt arbete, Stockolms universitet Tid: Fredag den 17 juni 2011 kl 09.00 Plats: L165, Campus Piteå, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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