The Game Studio: Developing Literacy Through the Lens of Game Design

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Bentley, Thomas Mark
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Middle Tennessee State University
In this thesis, I propose a curriculum for first year composition (FYC), called the Game Studio curriculum, in which students learn writing through experiences playing, analyzing, and designing games. In Chapter 1, I review the ways in which many students are already learning in video game spaces and argue that the study of games has potential to alter FYC instruction for the better. In Chapter 2, I frame the scholarship behind the Game Studio using James Paul Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy and Jesse Schnell’s The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. I also provide context for Middle Tennessee State University’s “Literacy for Life” objectives and discuss how the Game Studio curriculum supplements these objectives. In Chapter 3, I provide a detailed list of introductory projects designed to give both students and instructors a running knowledge of game jargon and game design concepts. In Chapter 4, I provide details for the final two projects, which involve the development of student-designed games. I conclude in Chapter 5 with my reflections on student responses to an exit survey at the end of the Game Studio semester.
Collaborative, Composition, Game Design, Multimodal, Technology, Video Games