2007 Computers and Education

Jill Kedersha McClay, Margaret Mackey, Mike Carbonaro, Duane Szafron and Jonathan Schaeffer, Adolescents Composing Fiction in Digital Game and Written Formats: tacit, explicit and metacognitive strategies, E-Learning 4 (3), 2007, 273 - 284. abstract or browser version.


This article reports on a study of 23 tenth-grade students who created fiction in digital game and written formats. The researchers observed them at work, analysed their stories in both formats, and interviewed selected students to learn what affordances and constraints they demonstrate and/or articulate in such authoring. The students used ScriptEase, a software tool that supports the creation of digital stories, based on the game engine of Neverwinter Nights (Bioware). The authors consider the theoretical literature about narrative and games, focusing especially on indicators of verbal tense and mood. They discuss the overlaps and differences between digital and written stories, drawing in particular on the work of two students, and they conclude with implications for theoretical understandings of contemporary narratives in multiple formats and implications for literacy education.