This paper explores how media education principles can be extended to digital games, and whether the notion of ‘game literacy’ is an appropriate metaphor for thinking about the study of digital games in schools. Rationales for studying the media are presented, focusing on the importance of setting up social situations that encourage more systematic and critical understanding of games. The value of practical production, or game making, is emphasized, as a way of developing both conceptual understanding and creative abilities. Definitions of games are reviewed to explore whether the study of games is best described as a form of literacy. I conclude that games raise difficulties for existing literacy frameworks, but that it remains important to study the multiple aspects of games in an integrated way. A model for conceptualizing the study of games is presented which focuses on the relationship between design, play and culture
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