The semiotic construction of values in the videogame Watch Dogs

Lowien, Nathan (2016) The semiotic construction of values in the videogame Watch Dogs. English in Australia, 51 (2). pp. 41-51. ISSN 0155-2147


The past decade has seen videogames become an important facet in the economic and cultural tapestry of the 21st century. However, while the Australian Curriculum: English (ACE) advocates the teaching of multimodal texts (ACARA, 2016), videogames have been neglected within the curriculum. Nevertheless, such a significant aspect of popular 21st century entertainment culture warrants attention by educationalists and consideration as a highly motivating curriculum resource. This paper aims to explore the linguistic and visual semiotic depictions of value positions in the videogame Watch Dogs (Ubisoft, 2014). Despite the ubiquity and popularity of videogames, and the growing use of Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) and related broader semiotic theory in educational research, limited research has been conducted on games from an SFL perspective. This paper will identify content descriptions from the ACE and how suitable videogames similar to Watch Dogs could be used for the teaching of these descriptions. Semiotic systems such as the appraisal system (Martin & White, 2005) and various approaches to image analyses (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006; Painter, Martin, & Unsworth, 2013) will be utilised in the identification and explication of game characters’ value positions. The logogenetic synergy between the meaning making systems of language and image will then be canvassed in relation to their implications for Systemic Functional Semiotic accounts of inter-modal meaning-making, as well as implications for curriculum and pedagogy in the 21st century.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 00:51
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 02:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: appraisal, attitude, engagement, evaluative Stance, image-language relations, visual grammar, pedagogy, curriculum
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy

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