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Digital ethnography development investigating children's agency in minecraft

Balnaves, K. (2020) Digital ethnography development investigating children's agency in minecraft. In: 14th European Conference on Game Based Learning (ECGBL 2020), 24 - 25 September 2020, Online

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Language and literacy developed through playing in digital worlds are part of the out-of-school experiences that students bring to their classrooms. Whilst playing online they communicate through a myriad of ways with people from other locations globally to compete, build and collaborate. The literature discusses the way this leads to friendships with children from other cultures and languages and the development of ways of being and associated capital in the play-based worlds they are in. It also discusses the changes in agency this brings to the role of the "child" in these worlds and the literacy required for successful participation in social and academic contexts. Given that agency is core to students' success in learning, the research proposes to fill the gap in the literature with regard to how children work through the layers of play in the online playfield of Minecraft in a multisite and multilingual learning environment. The reality of the gaming situation includes a complex mix of communication methods which are happening simultaneously and very quickly. It is a complex literacy event with children engaged in many different layers of the gameplay at the same time. The play in an online collaborative team game is very different to the mode and speed of communication in the physical environment of more traditional ethnographic studies. Digital ethnography is an emerging field particularly in the educational research environment. This paper discusses how the analysis tool for this research was developed to analyse how the participation within the online game environment using aspects of Gee's (2012) Discourse Analysis Tool and Pink's (2016) principles of Digital Ethnography.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Creative Media, Arts and Design
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