Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Mechanics Are the Message: Studying Video Games as Texts in the Language Arts Classroom
by Hancock, Tyler, M.Ed., Minot State University, 2019, 151; 13879762
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this paper is to show the effects on students of studying a video game as a text in a middle school Language Arts classroom. 86 students in a small midwestern town of 50,000 people participated in a unit of study wherein the game Inside was played, discussed, and dissected like a text. Participants played the game, discussed literary techniques unique to games (agency and interactivity), analyzed a theme and its development throughout the game, and hypothesized potential meanings of the events of the game. Reactions and insights were recorded throughout, from the perspectives of both the participants and the researcher. Playing the game together proved to be a positive experience for most participants, with classes showing increased positive attitudes and a sense of community that developed as the game went on. Participants also showed evidence of increased understanding of a theme based on playing the game, and remained highly engaged throughout the experience. There is evidence of worth in using games as texts in the Language Arts classroom, but further research needs to be undertaken, both with older and younger participants, in order to better understand which games are appropriate for which ages, similar to how this has been decided for novels, poems, plays, and other text forms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jensen, Debra
Commitee: Aleshire, Sarah, Borden-King, Lisa, Jensen, Debra
School: Minot State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- North Dakota
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Middle School education, Educational technology
Keywords: Classroom, ELA, Language arts, Texts, Video games
Publication Number: 13879762
ISBN: 978-1-392-13823-6
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