Converging Identities at Play

Henry Jenkins, Harvey Smith, Alice Robison

This panel will explore the intersections of identity with regard to play and gaming, with a special focus on how these activities intersect with learning and media literacy. Media professor and public intellectual Henry Jenkins will discuss the “New Media Literacies” of the 21st century that require learners to seek out and master various literacy practices which enable them to play, appropriate, and perform identities that often converge in the gaming world. Professional game designer Harvey Smith outlines his thoughts on how players’ identities are constructed and used within game-play, arguing that avatar choice and identity performance are useful exercises for enabling players to experiment with their out-of-game personae. Finally, literacy researcher Alice Robison will examine some newer gaming genres that exemplify how more and more, games are purposely designed with the expectation that players will not only create their own identities but also the identities of others within the game space.

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