Exploring Young People 's Literacy Practices Across Corporate And User Produced Platforms

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Ecologies of Transmedia Use: Exploring Young People’s Literacy Practices across Corporate and User-Produced Platforms

In this article we explore young people’s literacy practices as embedded in ecologies of multimodal and transmedia use. Unlike approaches grounded in distinct online locations, such as affinity spaces, specific websites, particular video games, or other media platforms, a focus on transmedia ecologies encourages us to look beyond spatial and structural boundaries to understand how flows of corporate and user-produced artefacts can shape, constrain, and expand young people’s literate repertoires.

Introduction (Contemporary Transmedia Contexts)

In the turn away from viewing literacy as a purely cognitive
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An ecological perspective asks us to consider a variety of learning contexts, comprised of activities, resources, relationships, and interactions among these (see. Barron, 2006). A focus on interactions between modes, activities, resources, and relationships allows us to stay attuned to the moving parts of literate development without losing context. Consider the lone gamer who, while tapping away at her controller, is simultaneously chatting with other gamers on the same platform, using printed commercial game guides to select gear, consulting player-produced walkthroughs on Youtube, posting live updates on her progress through a level of the game, and writing fan fiction based on her avatar’s exploits.

Rather than viewing the aforementioned gamer’s practices as grounded in a particular context (e.g., a living room or a video game or an affinity space), focused on a particular activity (e.g., writing or watching a video), ortied to a particular modality (e.g., print, digital), it is possible to conceptualize such practices as part of a transmedia ecology in which participation in literate practice is distributed across time, space, and media platform, and coheres around a particular storyworld. A traditional storyworld is a fictional universe with invented characters, settings, and characteristics that has been
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