Monday, June 4, 2018

Video Games Representations of Race, Gender, and Age

In this study, a large-scale content analysis of characters in video games was employed to answer questions about their representations of gender, race and age in comparison to the US population. The study was conducted in a manner in which the results were able to be analyzed in proportion to the games that were actually played by the public, and thus allowed the first statements able to be generalized about the content of popular video games. The results show a systematic over-representation of males, white and adults and a systematic under-representation of females, Hispanics, Native Americans, children and the elderly. Overall, the results are similar to those found in television research. The implications for identity, cognitive models, cultivation and game research are discussed.

Williams, D., Martins, N., Consalvo, M., & Ivory, J. D. (2009). The virtual census: representations of gender, race and age in video games. New Media and Society, 11(5), 815-834.

Benefits of Reading Aloud on Language Acquisition

Findings from this study show the positive effects of read-alouds and storytelling on literacy development and second-language acquisition, which have also been confirmed many times in the research literature. In addition, there is consistent evidence that in-school free voluntary reading (sustained silent reading) is effective for both first- and second-language acquisition. Hearing stories stimulates interest in particular books, which in turn encourages a reading habit. In this study, the authors investigate the effect of a combination read-aloud/self-selected reading experience on sixth graders in Korea studying English as a foreign language on measures of both language/literacy development and interest in reading. The study states that the latter may be the most important measure, as it is an indication of whether the students will continue to read on their own and thereby continue to improve in English after the program ends.

Cho, K. S., & Choi, D. S. (2008). Are read-alouds and free reading “natural partners”?: An experimental study. Knowledge Quest, 36(5), 69-73.