‘Redstone is like electricity’: Children's performative representations in and around Minecraft

Dezuanni, Michael L., Beavis, Catherine, & O'Mara, Jo (2015) ‘Redstone is like electricity’: Children's performative representations in and around Minecraft. E-Learning and Digital Media, 12(2), pp. 147-163.

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In this article, we investigate eight and nine year old girls’ school and home use of the popular game Minecraft and the ways in which the girls ‘bring themselves into being’ through talk and digital production in the social spaces of the classroom and within the game’s multiplayer online world. This work was conducted as part of a broader digital games in education project involving primary and secondary school-aged students in Australia and focuses specifically on data collected from an all-girls primary school in Brisbane. We investigate the processes of identity construction that occur as the girls undertake practices of curatorship (Potter, 2012) to display their knowledge of Minecraft through discussion of the game, both ‘in world’ and in face-to-face interactions, and as they assemble resources within and around the game to design, build and display their creations and share stories about their game play. The article begins with a consideration of recent scholarship focussing on children, learning and digital culture and literacy practices before explaining how Minecraft is, in many ways, an exemplary instance of a digital game that promotes and enables complex practices of digital participation. We then introduce the concepts of performativity and recognition (Butler 1990, 2004, 2005) which, we argue, provide productive ways to theorise identity work within affinity groups. The article then outlines some background to the research project and our methodology before providing analysis of the data in the second half of the article. We conclude by outlining the implications of our investigation for the conceptualisation of learning spaces as affinity groups and for considering digital participation as curatorship.

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3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 70601
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Video Games Education, Literacy, Media Education, Computer Games
DOI: 10.1177/2042753014568176
ISSN: 2042-7530
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Creative Arts Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy (130201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 28 Apr 2014 23:54
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2016 06:20

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