Chp 18--Rebecca Black and Constance Steinkuehler’s
"LITERACY IN THE VIRTUAL WORLDS"

Black and Steinkuehler focus on how the form, nature, and venue of many adolescents’ leisure, work, and academic activities have shifted to virtual or online spaces in recent years. Also, MMOs, games highlights the form of literacy that youth and adults alike engage in during gameplay, including in-game text-based interaction and literacy practices and the literacies found in the out-of-game, online world of fandom (271).

With ever increasing access to the internet, online spaces. . .technology has become a central force that fuels the rhythm of daily life for American youth (271). Also, the authors claim these same activities occur in the adult world as well as in the adolescents’ world (271).
When I read these statements, I immediately thought about my friends and family members who play internet games with people all around the world, I find it most interesting to hear my highly competitive 50 something friends pout about how their 16 year old British opponent keeps winning every round in Bejeweled.

Age between the participants in that virtual gaming world is not important to the two players. Black and Steinkuehler confirms age does not carry the same weight on-line as it does off-line or I person (23). This is to say that it is not a common occurrence for a 55 and 16 years olds to spend hours in an off-line game in a similar time frame as they would with their own age group.

Literacy.
This was my favorite part of the article. When working with students on their reading and writing tasks, I noticed that there is a difference on how they respond to the task at hand. When the students are given printed test and ask to respond to it in a written format there is much apprehension and excuses for not doing the project. On the other hand, when it’s an assignment that involves technology such as using the computer, the only response that I hear is “Wen can we get started.” For whatever reason the fear of not having grade level reading and writing skill simply is no longer a fear to them. The authors conclude that being or becoming literate is an ongoing process that shifts according to participants, context, and the nature of the activity (273). Also, . . .youths must learn to negotiate. . .
Finally, I agree when the authors conclude that “gaming, at least in the context of MMOs, is not replacing literacy, adolescents appear perfectly willing to engage in long, thoughtful writing projects. . .” (283).
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