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Online gaming as sociable media Le jeu en ligne, une forme de réseau social

DOI: 10.4000/alsic.2450

Keywords: social media , online games , linguistic complexity , réseaux sociaux , jeux en ligne , complexité linguistique , Social media

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Over much of the world, contemporary communicative practices are mediated by a wide range of digital technologies that support speech, image, video, and of course textual literacies. In dialectic tension with the rapid growth in digital information and communication media, Internet information and communication technologies have amplified conventional communicative practices in terms of breadth, impact and speed and have also enabled the emergence of new communicative, cultural and cognitive practices. These practices form dynamic cultures-of-use – that is, communication tools and the human activities they mediate co-evolve (Thorne, 2003). This article begins with a review of contradictory appraisals of digital media. This is followed by a discussion of the social and semiotic contexts comprising the widely played massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, with a view toward better understanding its usefulness as a setting for language use and learning. This game environment is explored using three forms of evidence, (1) unsolicited reports from players appearing in player-to-player online discussion forums, (2) elicited descriptions of players' experience provided through questionnaires distributed to Dutch and American gamers, and (3) a formal assessment of the linguistic complexity of high frequency game-presented and player-generated texts. By way of conclusion, we elaborate on the necessity of an "open source epistemology" (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006) and a critical language awareness approach to developing and acknowledging a diversity of communicative practices, all of which are aimed at expanding the goals, and outcomes, of instructed L2 education. Presque partout dans le monde, des pratiques de communication modernes sont médiées par une large gamme de technologies numériques qui favorisent l'emploi de la langue parlée, de l'image, de la vidéo, et bien s r, des littératies textuelles. Dans une tension dialectique avec la croissance rapide des médias d'information et de communication numériques, les technologies de l'information et de la communication ont amplifié les pratiques habituelles de communication quant à leur portée, leur impact et leur rapidité, et ont également rendue possible l'émergence de nouvelles pratiques communicatives, culturelles et cognitives. Ces pratiques créent des cultures d'usage dynamiques : on observe une évolution parallèle des outils de communication et des activités humaines qu'ils suscitent (Thorne, 2003). Notre article présente d'abord un panorama des vertus contradictoires que l'on attribue aux médias nu


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