Unlimited Players

Edris Afsharkohan / University of Findlay

Part II

The first half of part 2 is a greater focus on tutoring strategies through familiarizing tutors with real-world games while the second half investigates more practical tutor-training pedagogies.

In the first Chapter of this section, Brenta Blevins and Lindsay A. Sabatino, discuss how augmented reality games such as “Pokemon Go” provide a tutoring theory for consultants to respond to multimodal writing as an emerging augmented reality (AR) assignment. They interestingly compare writing centers to emergence games–games that support ongoing play without end (p. 103), claiming how similar is an emergent game like “Pokemon Go” to tutoring’s ongoing process. Likewise, in Chapter 6, Christopher LeCluyse further investigates the concepts of writing and fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, arguing that better recognition of the binary concepts can equip writing consultants to serve students more efficiently in sessions. The author provided plenty of food for thought by defining how writing is a performance of identity and showing how important it is for tutors to help students learn to play the right persona when addressing, for example, academic audiences to avoid failure. Lastly, Kevin J. Rutherford and Elizabeth Saur explore how the game studies’ concept of magic circle–a space apart from the real world (p. 138)­–can emphasize inclusivity and equity in the writing center. They logically discuss the magic circle and its numerous applications for conceptualizing an ideal writer center which not only offers a solution for some common writing center problems like students’ procrastination but also prepares them for the future meaningful life many universities promise their students.

In the second half of part 2, Thomas “Buddy” Shay and Heather Shay focus on role-playing games through the lens of dramaturgy, initiating a detailed and ongoing investigation of tutors’ layers of identity. I promise that every reader will enjoy the comprehensive understanding of the person, player, and persona they discuss considering the roles tutors usually play at the writing center.  Chapters 9 and 10 are explicitly pedagogical, offering some useful assignments and activities that can be used in their writing centers. For example, Chapter 9, from “Jessica Clements, showcases a gaming ethnography assignment for tutor training that aims for greater intersectionality. She then defines ethnography as a research methodology for querying issues of culture, identity, and expressive choices (p. 182), which I find very informative and cohesively relevant to the previous Chapter. Also, Clements’s reference to Caravella and Garrison-Joyner’s discussion of third spaces can be really stimulating from my perspective. The final Chapter reports on a pilot study by Jamie Henthorn, asking students in a tutor education course to participate in semester-long quests. Henthorn argues that playfulness in consultant development offers greater ownership over tutors’ own professionalization. Many hands-on experience examples in this Chapter allow tutors to familiarize themselves with the potential challenges that might arise in everyday consultation sessions.