Citekey: @gee-melbourne



the exciting combination of consumption and creation

  • all video games are rule systems about shapes, movements, and combinations.
  • but what would happen if I gave each shape, movement, and combination of shapes in Tetris a meaning?
  • story elements: actors, actions; states, events
  • grammar

games as literacy

  • what’s the role of story in games?
  • Casovilia: story doesn’t matter.
  • The primary thing here is the player’s production of story elements, not a story per se (like Alucard kills a Sword Lord). But the little events you’re doing. A set of acts, and a set of meanings not enough to create a deep story.
  • Video games allows players to have all kinds of choices, but designers cannot prepare every possible choices beforehand. So what makes video games playable is the players make meanings..
  • “video games cannot be art.” -someone
  • Gee disagrees.
  • The marriage of rules and story elements allows two quite different stories to exist: the Designer’s story, and the virtual-real story (player’s trajectory through the game).
  • the second one is more important.
  • everyone go through the game differently. the example of killing a lord in a game: different trajectory.
  • the example of WoW when players going back to a place, they thought about before. a personal history. building meanings when playing. personal trajectory. doesn’t happen in reading books. so players’ story, own projection of their story important, not the designer of the games.
  • the possiblity of creating a world in which each person’s trajectory is important; each person is different, each person lay down a deap past of his own that can be compared or contrasted with everyone else.

Cognitive approaches in games

  • modern psychology: emotional component in thinking
  • give information emotional charge –> better stored and learning more deeply; emotional attachment
  • the problem of schooling
  • games can trigger emotions.

who is playing the game?

  • virtual and real characters. melding of computer character and person.
  • psychology: people feels go as far as body goes.
  • in games, control is part of deep pleasure.
  • virtual and real have their own skills.

Professional experience

  • army game
  • you command soldiers to do things
  • the characters know a lot of things. but you need to make the right command.
  • solders
  • i (player) can start from zero knowledge, to build my professional knowledge by playing. because they know a lot.
  • by the time of getting good at it, i contribute more.
  • constrains.
  • soldiers <-militery experience –> player
  • share professional expereince
  • start before competence

the good model of helping people develop professional knowledge. but only used in training people to kill. not killing people, but things like urben planning

Three stories:

  1. the designer’s story
  2. the virtual-real story
  3. the virtual-real career story

giving children a career trajectory, of problem solving (love that!!)


  • triaval grammar
  • going deeper
  • give story of your own learning

  • the example of Civilization players as gods
  • kids designing games designer of other people’s learning; meta-knowledge

what’s the grammar of KB?

  • complex vocuabulary after Grade 4
  • adopt before 5
Blog Logo

Bodong Chen



Crisscross Landscapes

Bodong Chen, University of Minnesota

Back to Home