Steinkuehler on Massively Multiplayer Online Videogaming as Participation in a Discourse

Massively multiplayer online videogaming as participation in a Discourse (PDF, Via c.a. steinkuehler – MMOG research) I just got my annotations on another Steinkuehler article into my outliner. The quotable bits are below, including several that relate to the social negotiation of meaning in a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. As you probably expect by now, these quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner.

Motivation and Engagement

– [ ] MMOGs have a “capacity for sustained engaegment” (Steinkuehler,
in press b, p. 7)
– [ ] MMOGs are becoming “a compelling means of enculturatino into the
globally networked community of both young and old.”
(Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 7)

Context Embedded

– [ ] Steinkuehler discusses identity. (Steinkuehler, in press b, p.

Socially Negotiated

– [ ] Steinkuehler shares a view of “cognition as (inter)action in the
social and material world.” (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 3)
– [ ] “To use a familiar quote from Lave (1988), cognition is ‘a
complex social phenomenon…distributed – stretched over, not
divided among – mind, body, activity and culturally organized
settings (which include other actors)’
(p.1). Thus, we have come a long way from studies in which
information processing was mistaken for meaning making (Bruner,
1990).” (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 3-4) Note the citation of
Bruner! Like the Dewey quotes in Squire’s work, this is good for
the cohesion of the breadth and depth portions of my paper.
– [ ] Steinkuehler also discusses Gee’s Discourse Theory, which is good
for the cohesion of my KAM II and KAM I in the dissertation lit
review to follow. (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 5-6)
– [ ] MMOGs allow “individuals, through their self-created digital
characters or
‘avatars,’ to interact not only with the gaming software (the
designed environment of the game and the computer-controlled
characters within it) but with other players’ avatars as well.”
(Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 6)
– [ ] “MMOGs are sites for socially and materially distributed
cognition, individual and collaborative problem-solving across
multiple multimedia, multimodal “attentional spaces” (Lemke,
n.d.), significant identity work (Turkle, 1994),
empirical model building, joint negotiation of meaning and
values, and the coordination of people, (virtual) tools and
artifacts, and multiple forms of text – all within persistent
online worlds with emergent cultural characteristics of their own
(Steinkuehler, 2004a)” (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 7)
– [ ] “experience… is distributed across members of the ‘party’
and… the individuals participating prfit from such
collaboration” (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 18)
– [ ] “Collaborative activity is the hallmark of MMOGaming and few
people who log in remain social isolates.” (Steinkuehler, in
press b, p. 19)
– [ ] “Robust online communities such as Lineage (and, despite its
success in the global MMOG market, Lineage is not exceptional in
terms of its design or emergent culture) are complex social
spaces of affiliations and disaffiliations, constructed largely
out of shared (or disparate) social and material practices – ways
of behaving, communicating, interacting, and valuing through
which individuals enact not just their character class, be it elf
or princess, but the
“kinds of people” (Hacking, 1986) that they construe themselves
to be and that others can recognize. Such play requires complex
and nuanced sets of multimodal social and communicative practices
that are tied to particular communities and one’s identity within
them (Steinkuehler, 2004b).” (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 24)
– [ ] MMOGs are ” rich spaces for social interaction and enculturation,
requiring complex cognitive/cultural knowledge and skills”
(Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 25)


– [ ] “Perhaps the public conversations happening around games in
contemporary media say more about who we are and what we think
and value than they do about who gamers are and what they think
and value.” (Steinkuehler, in press b, p. 25)
– [ ] “serve as naturally occurring, self-sustaining, indigenous
versions of the kinds of online learning communities much present
research seeks to design and understand while, at the same time,
providing a “highly visible medium” for the collaborative
construction of mind, culture, and activity.” (Steinkuehler, in
press b, p. 26)


Steinkuehler, C. A. (in press b). Massively multiplayer online videogaming as participation in a Discourse. Mind, Culture, & Activity.