Towards a greater understanding of multiliteracies: A multimodal methodology for capturing and analysing young people's out-of-school computer game playing

Year: 2004

Author: Watson, Glenice, Johnson, Greer Cavallaro

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Today's young people experience a very different world from that in which current theories about learning and literacy were developed. Many school-aged young people spend considerable periods of their out-of-school time playing computer games and there are potentially positive learning and literacy experiences to be gained from their playing, regardless of the game genre. Such experiences generate, and require, new understandings about learning and literacy. This paper proposes a methodology for exploring questions about the kinds of multiliteracies that are exhibited by young people playing computer games in out-of-school settings. It describes a multimodal methodology for capturing and analysing the on-screen game-playing practices, and the players' accounts of their practices. Drawing on the prior work of Gee (2003) and Bangert-Drowns and Pyke (2001), an initial protocol for recognising multiliteracies in the game-playing data is presented. To provide further nuanced explanations of the players' understanding of their multiliterate experiences, a discourse analysis methodology is conceptualised that combines membership categorisation analysis and critical discourse analysis.