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The Online Ecology of Literacy and Language Practices of a Gamer

Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 21, Number 3, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647


Previous studies have examined how to integrate video games in formal education settings across disciplines and from various perspectives. However, few have explored digital literacy practices prompted by gaming as a fan practice. Drawing on "New Literacy Studies" frame of analysis, this qualitative case study attempts to unearth the literacy and language learning practices of Selo, an active gamer who translates games from English into Spanish for fun and whose translations prompt online language discussions with other gamers in the "fandom" (an online space where fans share their activities). With interviews, online observation and screencast videos, we analyse Selo's fandom, literacy practices and workflow when translating, and the language learning events in the online communities of gamers he is involved in. Results show that (1) Selo's fandom is a complex semiotic social space with users exhibiting varying degrees of involvement, functions and roles (players, readers, commenters, translators, "beta-testers"), (2) Selo has a sophisticated set of literacy skills (IT, linguistic, sociocultural), and (3) by resorting to other fans' feedback online to offset his language deficiencies, Selo and other fans learn situated, meaningful language items under authentic conditions of textual production.


Vazquez-Calvo, B. (2018). The Online Ecology of Literacy and Language Practices of a Gamer. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 21(3), 199-212. Retrieved June 19, 2019 from .

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