Abstract Details

Video Game Narratives And Fanfiction Supporting Writing Instruction

Quality literacy instruction is supported through a variety of instructional practices and resources including those found in video games (Albers & Sanders, 2010;Collins & Halverson, 2009; McLaughlin, 2010;Tussey, Haas & Garling, 2021; Wyatt-Smith & Elkins, 2008). Video games offer compelling and powerful narratives (Betts, Fabienke, & Farber, 2021; Carlquist, 2003) that provide unique and engaging ways to both entice and support student writers. Additionally, video games afford students insight into perspectives not always apparent in traditional literacy instruction (Reinking, 2008; Tussey, Haas, & Garling, 2021).

Video games and their accompanying narratives allow educators a glimpse into the popular culture literacies students engage with in nonacademic settings. When educators incorporate the use of video game narratives into instructional practice, they are validating students’ chosen form of nonacademic literacy engagement and recognizing this literacy as a cultural practice (Gavelek, Raphael, Biondo, & Wang, 2000; Haas & Tussey, 2021). Utilizing fanfiction as an instructional support for writing instruction can offer exciting results. Fanfiction uses original narratives, like those found in video games, and changes one or more facet of the story (Jamison, 2013). By incorporating fanfiction writing into instruction, students are supported by the video game’s complete and structured narrative. This allows student writers to work on developing one specific writing skill, such as character development or point of view without the cognitive load of developing an entire story.

This practitioner-based submission provides validation for the incorporation of video games into academic settings. Additionally, it highlights video game narratives as quality examples of storytelling. Fanfiction writing development based on video games is a writing instruction strategy that has been put into practice with undergraduate preservice teachers and their student teaching experiences in K-4 instruction in a U.S. Midwest community. Participants will take away writing examples and instructional strategies supporting video game storylines as a support for fanfiction and academic writing instruction.


  • Albers P., & Sanders J. (2010). Literacies, the arts, and multimodality. National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Betts, A. L., Fabienke, N., & Farber, M. (2021). The Quest for Learning: Promoting Engagement and Disciplinary Literacy Through Game-Based Quests. In Haas, L., & Tussey, J. (Ed.),Disciplinary Literacy Connections to Popular Culture in K-12 Settings(pp. 203-230). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-4721-2.ch010
  • Carlquist J. (2003). Playing the story: Computer games as a narrative genre. Human IT, 6(3), 7–53.
    Collins A. Halverson R. (2009). Rethinking education in the age of technology: The digital revolution and schooling of America. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Gavelek, J., Raphael, T., Biondo, S., & Wang, D. (2000). Integrated literacy instruction. In M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. Pearson., & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research: Volume III. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Haas, L., & Tussey, J. (2021). Equity and engagement through digital storytelling and game-based learning. In Haas, L., & Tussey, J. (Ed.), Connecting Disciplinary Literacy and Digital Storytelling in K-12 Education (pp. 257-277). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-5770-9.ch013
  • Jamison, A. (2013). Fic: Why fanfiction is taking over the world. Smart Pop.
  • Reinking D. (2008). Thoughts on the Lewis and Fabos article on instant messaging. In Coiro, J., Knobel, M.,
  • Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (Eds.), Handbook of New Literacies (pp. 1175–1187). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Tussey, J., Haas, L., & Garling, B. (2020). Bye-Bye Basal: Multimodal Texts in the Classroom. In Sullivan, P. M., Lantz, J. L., & Sullivan, B. A. (Ed.),Handbook of Research on Integrating Digital Technology with Literacy Pedagogies(pp. 192-211). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-0246-4.ch009
  • Wyatt-Smith C. Elkins J. (2008). Multimodal reading and comprehension in online environments. In Corio J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu D. (Eds.), Handbook of Research on New Literacies. Mahwah, NJ: Taylor & Francis.

Back to list of abstracts