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July 6, 2005

Wiki-mediated Collaborative/Distributed Narrative Construction of Game Communities

Ang, Chee Siang, Panayiotis Zaphiris, and Stephanie Wilson. “Wiki-mediated Collaborative/Distributed Narrative Construction of Game Communities.” Proceedings of Wikimania 2005. 4-8 Aug. 2005. 6 July 2005.

This paper examines the possibilities of enhanced language learning through game playing and commons-based projects. Constructionist learning theory provides the theoretical structure. Game culture is a participatory culture with active audiences, which in turn encourages active, social learning. The authors argue that in games, use rather than meaning is emphasized, which leads to production activity that could bring users closer to second-language use. Visits to gaming websites revealed strong, varied production of related derivative works (fan fiction, comics, videos, poems, etc., as well as meta-game materials.)

They suggest that these materials could be productively shared in a wiki environment, and that this method would be particularly productive in elementary ESL classrooms. A scenario is posed wherein an assignment requires students to create videos of their Sims games, upload them to a wiki, and then collaboratively create a larger thematic production. All of the instructions and work (subtitles, et al) would be done in English, thus encouraging language acquisition.

The authors remain concerned about how traditional wiki aspects would affect this project: security, nonsubjective authorship, nontraditional interfaces, and community pressures. They also wonder if the non-standard language patterns of online life (leet-speak, icons) would adversely affect language acquisition goals.

Posted by kenne329 at July 6, 2005 5:35 PM | Conference Proceedings