Digital games and literacy


In Australia, the contemporary digital landscape has impacted educational systems.  According to Carrington, students today are surrounded by ever-evolving digital technologies and practices (as cited in O’Connell, 2014, para.2).  Consequently, the curriculum must now be “built on a view of literacy that encompasses but extends beyond traditional print and oral forms to include digital [and] multimodal forms” of information (Beavis and Apperley, 2012, p.12).

Digital games are one form of media that have been introduced to classrooms as learning tools (Van Eck, 2006, p.16).  Because of this, Beavis, O’Mara, and McNeice suggest we need to investigate how digital games function as new forms of text and literacy (2012, p.4).  Unlike traditional literacy which is largely inactive, games require a combination of understanding text, images, and sound as well as physical activity.  To understand the literacy of digital games, Beavis and Apperley maintain that we need a model that considers games as both action and text (2012, p.13).  to this end, Galloway states that “while games’ meanings are negotiated and produced in the interaction between text and reader, as is the case with any text, it is important to understand how the are enacted and instantiated through action (as cited in Beavis and Apperley 2012, p.14).

In conclusion, digital games have expanded our definition of literacy to incorporate physical interactions.  It will be interesting to observe how other emerging technologies that integrate sensory and immersive experiences and augmented reality further alter future definitions of literacy.


Beavis, C., & Apperley, T. (2012). A model for games and literacy. In C. Beavis, J. O’mara, & L. McNeice (Ed.). Digital games: Literacy in action (12- 23.). Kent Town: Wakefield Press.

Beavis, C.,O’Mara, J., & McNeice, L. (2012). Literacy learning and computer games: A curriculum challenge for our times . In C. Beavis, J. O’Mara, & L. McNeice (Ed.). Digital Games: Literacy in action (3- 11.). Kent Town: Wakefield Press.

O’Connell, J. (2014). Concepts and Practices for a Digital Age: INF530 Module 1 [Electronic material]. Retrieved from

Van Eck, R.(2006). Digital game-based learning: It’s not just the digital natives who arerestless. Educause review, 41(2),16 – 30. Retrieved from


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