What can Dark Souls III teach writing instructors about supporting first-year writers?



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Many scholars in the field of rhetoric and composition have explained why video games are good for learning and how video games can be applied in educational spaces (Gee; Shultz-Colby; Sierra). To further explore the relationship between video games and rhetoric and composition, I conducted a qualitative study and recruited first-year writing instructors to play Dark Souls III, an action role-playing game infamously known for its difficulty. From each participant, I collected a pre-reflective questionnaire, Dark Souls III gameplay, and an interview. Using relational content analysis, I coded/analyzed interview transcripts from eight player-teachers. My analysis revealed the following key points: gameplay experiences offer reflective moments for player-teachers about identity, learning, and pedagogy. Additionally, video games teach educators to resist ideologies of deficient writing as learning new skills takes time and practice. Overall, my dissertation demonstrates that video games are just as beneficial to instructors as they are for students.



Rhetoric and Composition