Part VIII of Dissertation Research Series
Research by Steinkuehler focuses on the development of literacy around using video games, including the use of forums and online spaces, and how their use can help boys become more involved in literacy practices (Steinkuehler & King, 2009). Steinkuehler and King (2009) developed an after school program for at-risk adolescent boys based on the popular video game World of Warcraft with the intent of examining how their interests in video games could strengthen their engagement and literacy. Initial results showed that they used literacy for problem solving, researched and created multi-modal game resources online, and synthesized information over multiple resources (Steinkuehler & King, 2009). Similarly, Thomas (2005) studied a group of children engaging in online role-playing and fan fiction activities around Tolkien’s Middle Earth and found that literate behavior was the most highly valued form of participation and ability in the community; students would spend hours improving their literacy in order to improve their abilities in the online space (Thomas, 2005).