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Information Representation in Mainstream Videogames

Advances in Librarianship

ISBN: 978-1-84950-978-7, eISBN: 978-1-84950-979-4

ISSN: 0065-2830

Publication date: 24 November 2010


Learning-via-gaming is an emerging area of interest and research within kindergarten to grade 12 (k-12), in US schools. As a vital part of the k-12 instructional mission, school libraries are exploring the potential role of videogames in mediating information-oriented skills development. Although the general concept of learning-via-gaming is not new to school libraries (e.g., library review card games), empirical knowledge of videogames’ representational landscapes is needed to assist school librarians in developing instructional programming. This study examined representations of information across three distinct genres of mainstream videogames (shooters, action-adventure, and role-playing). Specifically, qualitative content analysis was used to examine the types of inscribed, information resources that players could use to generate solutions during problem-solving events. Across the three video gaming genres studied, there were seven strata of information: socially constructed, interpersonal, environmental, process, resource, task, and symbolic stratums. The results of this study could assist school librarians in (1) designing instructional lessons around videogames and/or (2) guiding students through the process of transporting meanings from the domain of gaming to other domains (e.g., academic, community, and everyday information problem-solving).


Newell, T.S. (2010), "Information Representation in Mainstream Videogames", Woodsworth, A. (Ed.) Advances in Librarianship (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 55-73.



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