DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS; GAMES AS (AUTHORLESS) NOVELS IN THE ENGLISH LITERATURE CURRICULUM
1 University of Wolverhampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Bournemouth University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:This paper will share the findings - and the implications - of an educational research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council into the status of video games as 'Digital Transformations' of novels.
This research explored the ways in which gamer-students and teachers might work with the game L.A. Noire to reconfigure dynamics of expertise, begin a remediation of the English Literature curriculum and respond to the digital transformation of what we think it means to ‘read’ in order to think differently about the function of books and the nature of textual authority in the digital age.
Research questions related to L.A. Noire’s potential as a learning tool, its function as a (digitally transformed) novel; how it might function as a novel to facilitate traditional literary analysis within an adapted version of the English Literature curriculum; the ways in which the English Literature curriculum, assessment and pedagogy would need to ‘remediate’ for L.A. Noire to be taught and studied' the potential for young people to be re-engaged with other literary texts through gaming the implications of this for a digital transformation of the English Literature curriculum and for broader developments in literacy education. Finally, the question of whether a game text can be ‘taught’ without being ‘read’ (played) was posed, and the findings assessed in relation to notions of pedagogic expertise set against 'inexpert curation', drawing on ideas from previous work (Bennett, Kendall and McDougall, 2011; Berger and McDougall, 2012) and from Ranciere's 'ignorant schoolmaster' (2009).
The project engaged participants - students and teachers - from school, sixth form college and University English courses in three regions of the UK. The research was conducted in four stages - an open-ended gameplay blog, students teaching teachers to play the game, teachers supporting students in using a series of study materials designed by the researchers and finally the modification of the materials for use by English teachers, following interviews with the participants.
This paper will present the outcomes, discuss the research methodology employed and raise far-reaching questions about what it means to 'teach' a text in the age of digital transformation.
Keywords: Digital, gaming, English literature, text, pedagogy.