Main Article Content
James Paul Gee’s Unified Discourse Analysis: Language, Reality, Virtual Worlds, and Video Games not only offers a comprehensive theoretical framework that can be used to analyze discourse, video games, and action, but also explores the underlying commonalities that unite these seemingly disparate domains. The root of Gee’s theory is that “conversations” are not limited to talk, but also include text and action (what he calls “conversations with the world”). In life, humans have conversations with the world by taking on various identities (avatars) and “playing” as themselves through their interactions. Readers, too, interact with text by conversing with it in their minds, gleaning what they see as relevant based on the objectives of their avatars. Gee argues that video games, as a new multimodal communicative form, ought to be granted the same consideration that literary critics have given to texts and discourse analysts have given to discourse. Throughout this book, Gee weaves together illustrative examples from history and experience, images and analyses of video games, segments of classroom discourse, and even excerpts from literature and poetry to support this expansive framework.