The Design is the Game: Writing Games, Teaching Writing

Alice J. Robison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This article makes both conceptual and empirical arguments for why composition scholars and teachers ought to take notice of how video games are designed and developed in such a way as to make them so compelling. Thinking about games' design principles as an analogy for composition curricula, I argue that video game designers and developers discuss and approach their design processes in many of the same ways writing teachers do. Data presented are taken from several years' worth of ethnographic interviews, observations, and artifact analyses from within the game design and development community. This paper demonstrates how one of the designers from this ongoing study builds on his knowledge of games as distinctly interactive meaning-making spaces, noting that this approach to game design fits well with a re-thinking of the task of designing writing and learning spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-370
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Composition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Composition
  • Curriculum
  • Design
  • Development
  • Games
  • Literacy
  • Pedagogy
  • Rhetoric
  • Video
  • Video games
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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