Follow me down this thread of history up to last summer, when my UNC Charlotte Writing Project colleagues, Sally Griffin, Lil Brannon, Jennifer Ward and I sat in Lil’s office after a Partnership School workshop talking through the day.
Lacy: Right, so, Lil, you know we’ve been reading this Gee stuff about video games and learning. And that is doing all this stuff to help us think about our digital learning narratives…
Lil: So what’s happening with the narratives?
Lacy: So we are still getting caught up in some of this bootstrap stuff in these narratives, you know? Like that I did this all by myself, and ended up on the mountain top.
Sally: And we’re getting into all this about video games in schools.
Lacy: Uh-huh, and it ties into the narratives, right? Good Video Games and Good Learning is like morphing into this flowery idea of technology in the classroom, as like, the new save-the-world technique. Everyone is thinking of the next best game to teach whatever skill.
Lil: Say more, Lacy.
Lacy: Well, like, I’m wondering about how to screw with that idea- it’s not new and it’s not the new part that makes it interesting or useful. And, like, there is all this other background and history stuff that I want to get into. I keep thinking about Dana Sutcliff’s demo from Summer Institute.
Jennifer: Where she had all those different pieces of media showing all the perspectives on Iraq?
Lacy: Yes! I, like, want to do that with video games and get a critical stance on the, like, connection between violence, military, corporations, gaming … I’m thinking I will find pieces of media that do different things with the ideas.
Jennifer: Okay, so then we can write about them in our daybooks and talk about them? And then our own digital narratives will…
Sally: You know this all goes back to the mills. The workers and the damn owners- they live off the sweat off the laborer’s back.
Gee, J. P. (2007). Good Video Games and Good Learning. NY: Peter Lang.