Student positioning toward writing journalism about games and game culture

Submitted by: Thorkild Hanghøj
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to present findings from the on-going Design-Based Research project “Game Journalism”, which explores possibilities for positioning secondary students as writers when producing journalism about games and game culture in L1. The project revolves around the development and use of the Game Journalism platform (, where students can publish their journalistic articles. The students’ texts represent a hybrid form between established school journalistic genres in Danish as a subject and game journalism outside school contexts produced by a mix of dedicated gamers and professional journalists (Zagal et al., 2009).

The paper draws on earlier work (Hanghøj & Nørgaard, 2018), which analyzed six students’ game journalistic texts and data from subsequent student interviews about the texts. This lead to the identification of three different student voices when writing game journalism: “gamers”, “non-gamers”, and “journalists”. The gamer voice primarily represented knowledge and experience related to gaming. By contrast, the non-gamer voice represented critical approaches to games and game culture. Finally, the voice of the journalist concerned an identification with conducting journalistic work. In the current paper, I will try to expand and detail students’ positions toward producing game journalism based on additional data collection of texts and interviews from four different classes located at three different secondary schools.

Our analysis is informed by the scenario-based domain model (Hanghøj & Nørgaard, 2010), which suggests that students’ game-related literacy practices can be understood as an interplay of knowledge practices across four different domains: the pedagogical domain of schooling, the domain of disciplinary knowledge (Danish as L1 subject), the domain of everyday life (e.g. game activities), and the scenario-specific domain of producing game journalism, which primarily exists outside school contexts. Moreover, I draw on Dialogical Self Theory (Ligorio, 2010) in order to describe how the students take up different I-positions when approaching games as a journalistic topic within a school context.

In this way, the current study contributes to the growing field of game-related literacy research by exploring how students’ interest in, experience with and attitudes toward games can be meaningfully transformed into subject-related knowledge within a L1 context.


Hanghøj, T. & Nørgaard, J. (2018). Writing Game Journalism in School: Student Voices on Games and Game
Culture. Proceedings of the Connected Learning Summit 2018, MIT, Boston.
Ligorio, M. B. (2010). Dialogical relationship between identity and learning. Culture & Psychology, 16(1), 93-107.
Zagal, J. P., Ladd, A., & Johnson, T. (2009). Characterizing and understanding game reviews. In Proceedings of the 4th international Conference on Foundations of Digital Games (pp. 215-222). ACM.