NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ882672
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-2042-7530
Bug or Feature: The Role of "Gamestar Mechanic's" Material Dialog on the Metacognitive Game Design Strategies of Players
Games, Alex
E-Learning and Digital Media, v7 n1 p49-66 2010
This article examines the language and literacy practices of middle-school children as they worked toward constructing their own computer games using "Gamestar Mechanic," a game intended to teach them key ways of thinking and communicating germane to the discourse of game designers. It examines the changes that took place in what previous work with this game has called their "material dialog," a sequence of interactions with components made available by the game to make their own games. Using discourse analysis, it examines participants' conversation and think-aloud interview data to track the changes in their design and thinking strategies over time. Findings suggest that growing familiarity with the tools and components provided by the game allowed them to develop sophisticated understandings of the grammatical relationships between game elements that helped them develop a systemic perspective of their games. In doing so, this view allowed them to move from seeing game features that deviated from their intended designs as "bugs", to viewing them rather as opportunities to create features that would enrich the play experience for others. Implications of these findings for children's learning in the academic and work disciplines of the twenty-first century are discussed. (Contains 9 figures.)
Symposium Journals. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A