Steve Dahlskog , pp. 45. COM/School of Computing, 2011.
Context. Digital games are an important application of software due to its growing popularity in
society. As digital games are introduced in a growing number of homes we see a rapidly extending
user base ranging from young to elderly. Since digital games now have reached beyond the early
adopters and now engage a range of users that are more unfamiliar with the context of digital games
and thus less trained and schooled in the clichés of digital games, the importance of previous
knowledge in the digital games area are entering a sort of common knowledge to interpret and make
meaning of society.
Objectives. The thesis cover two related aspects of basic digital game competences; firstly a
theoretical review of the topic that secondly is followed by a study where we investigate how
experienced players learn to play a digital game together and which types of activities they utilize in
order to do so.
Methods. This thesis consists of two parts with different methods; a review of the term and concept of
game literacy as well as a case study performed as an interaction analysis of players engaging with a
new digital game. For the second part the interaction analysis was conducted in three phases 1)
recording of players and notes of timestamps of interesting situations, 2) actual interaction analysis
and transcribing and 3) review. To be able to show a modus operandi for the players’ interaction and
learning situations, a single pair of players were selected, and therefore also allowed for a
chronological presentation of the play session and learning situations.
Results. In the first part of the thesis we present our results concerning that the use of the term game
literacy is not consistent throughout the discourse, but rather two different viewpoints. Furthermore
we suggest a taxonomy that allow for a more continuous view of game literacy knowledge than
previously presented. Secondly we show that competences from previous games not always allow for
a more efficient play performance due to the fact that different games have different cognitive
Conclusions. We conclude that concepts like game literacy and “the player’s repertoire” where it is
suggested that the player builds on previous knowledge to perform better within any game should be
viewed with more criticism than previously. Previous experience of how a game function and the
solution to solve problems in other games may not be fruitful at all. Players that utilize the same
cognitive schemas they developed in other games could be hindered when trying to play a new game.
Furthermore we conclude that the “reflective” learning style that other researchers (i.e. Gee) refer to,
when playing games, is not the only one and that the players take some time to reach a reflecting level