Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Topic: Video Games vs. Books

10-second review: Each medium—video games, books, TV and radio—has its own niche. They are not at war with each other. One point of view.

Title: “Video Games and Digital Literacies.” C. Steinkuehler. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (September 2010), pp. 61-63.

Quote: “Based on their somewhat unsavory appearance at times, video games have an unfortunate reputation with many parents and teachers despite a growing body of scholarly work in literacy studies investigating their merits…. The Reading at Risk report (Bradshaw and Nichols, 2004) and other such documents position games and books in diametric opposition to each other, with games presumed to be one of the causes of a decrease in students’ reading despite evidence that problematizes (if not contradicts) such claims.”

Quote: “Today’s youths are situated in a complex information ecology within which video games are only one small, albeit important, part. From this view, video games could no more replace books than television could replace radio; rather each digital medium settles into its own ecological niche and, as a part of that niche, its own complex relationship with every other medium.”

Comment: It’s a matter of time. With time spent on computers, the Internet, Ipods, video games, cell phones, etc. the time for reading shrinks. It has to. It’s a logical inference. However, much of what is on the Internet is printed words. And I’m not sure that reading has always been the priority that teachers believe it should be, except for the core of students who set aside a part of each day for it. Even then, what do we mean by “reading”? Is it the kind of stuff that teachers consider serious literature? What about “chick lit” and Westerns, SciFi, whodunits? And specialized magazines? I think in the long run, people use reading as they wish and always have. RayS.

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