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Digital Now

Written by Lacy Manship
November 08, 2011

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.

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