How Literacy Impacts Reading and Gaming

For Ellie, that charade contributed to her waning interest in computer games and simulations fi-om its highpoint in middle childhood. Reasonably versed in computer technologies and a fan of emerging online forums such as Tumblr, she agreed to talk about her play in virtual worlds not as an enthusiast, but as something of a philistine. She enjoyed Second Life—but only up to a point. "The imaginative part stopped for me when I stopped designing my avatar," she told me.

Further opportunities for playful participation in that online world often involved design tools and computer applicafions with which she was unfamiliar. Upwards of 99 percent of the content in Second Life is generated by users, but Ellie was not among them. To learn how to use the necessary programs just for the simulated experience seemed too much like work, she confided. She much preferred entertainment forums for which she already possessed the requisite skills: "Maybe I'm a throwback or something, but I think that when I read or when I watch a movie, those are the things that are inspiring visually or creatively or thinking of new thoughts."

As a medium for play. Second Life lacked immediate affordance for Ellie—and, consequently, it lacked imaginative scope. Whether we speak of language or visual Jniages, pen and paper or computer, mastery of any medium of exchange involves a learning curve. Up to a point on that curve, the medium remains opaque, a locked door; after that point, the door opens and the medium itself seems to dissolve, to b be¬ come, in a word, transparent.

Just as a certain degree of reading literacy must be mastered before stories can leap off the page into the imagining mind, a certain degree of computer—and game—literacy is necessary before simulated worlds can come to life. One is no longer aware of reading words; one is no longer aware of negotiating menus and clicking the mouse. There is only the lived story; there is only the lived game. Without such literacy,y, however, imaginative play in computer worlds is hampered.


Folksonomies: literacy reading gaming game play

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Personal computer (0.624507): dbpedia_resource

 Inventing Imaginary Worlds, From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity Across the Arts and Sciences
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Root-Bernstein, Michele (2014), Inventing Imaginary Worlds, From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity Across the Arts and Sciences, Retrieved on 2018-01-06
Folksonomies: imagination worldplay paracosms