Press Start: Minecraft in the College Composition Classroom

e51551_bc6eeb0593d54900a99dd14c57806cc2Minecraft is a game that has received a lot of attention for its use as an educational tool. The game has mostly been used in K-12 classrooms, but there are many possibilities for its application in higher education.

Minecraft is an open-world sandbox video game where players explore, craft, gather resources, build, and survive in a natural setting. The game includes minimal elements of combat and has a rating of “Everyone 10+” by the ESRB (the Entertainment Software Rating Board). Since the game has no direct goal, and players may choose to play in a variety of ways, I view Minecraft as an ideal choice for integrating into a writing class. Continue reading “Press Start: Minecraft in the College Composition Classroom”

What We Play and Study: “Good” Games & Education

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Today I’m going to talk about the use of the word good, specifically when referring to video games. One trend I have noticed during my time studying video games and reading various texts regarding Game Studies and games in education is the use of good as a qualifier. Sometimes the term is a bit too exclusive, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading “What We Play and Study: “Good” Games & Education”

The Witness: Motivation and Purpose

The Witness was both an infuriating and relaxing experience for me (mostly the former). It has been touted as a masterpiece and a revolutionary video game. While I offer some critique of The Witness as a video game, the majority of what follows will be an inquiry into the aspects of learning and motivation in The Witness. This post is rather lengthy because of my analysis and approach. Warning: some spoilers ahead.e51551_f17420f4b7454fae9221f8a28cc347c1 Continue reading “The Witness: Motivation and Purpose”

Press Start: Twitch as a Discourse Community

During the fall 2015 semester, I taught four composition courses at a local university. I decided to focus on discourse communities for one major writing assignment in my two sophomore-level courses. In particular, I discussed a popular livestreaming website, Twitch (, as my primary example for this assignment.Before diving too deeply into my example and its application in class, I would like to define/describe two … Continue reading Press Start: Twitch as a Discourse Community

Press Start: Video Games and “Literary” Value

For this post I have decided to try my hand at tackling an issue that has no clear answer and that is often hotly contested. I am going to be discussing whether or not video games have “literary” value in a traditional sense. Now I have a BA in English (aka literature) and an MA in Literature and Rhetoric/Composition. So I will approach this with … Continue reading Press Start: Video Games and “Literary” Value