Consumer Literacies and Virtual World Games

Authored by: Rebekah Willett

The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415816243
eBook ISBN: 9781315717647
Adobe ISBN: 9781317510611


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This chapter explores digital literacies in the context of wider discussions about socially situated literacy practices, focusing on one particular area – children’s understanding of commercial structures in virtual world games. In line with sociocultural perspectives of literacies, I view children’s consumer literacies as embedded in specific contexts and “linked to broader social structuring” (Barton et al. 2000: 1). This chapter aims first to explore consumer literacies which are potentially needed in virtual world games. The chapter then investigates these literacies through a research project involving children ages eight to eleven. Readers will gain an understanding of cultural and critical dimensions of children’s digital literacy practices as exemplified by consumer literacies in virtual world games.

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