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Title: Real Arguments about a Virtual Epidemic: Conversations and Contestations in a Tween Gaming Club
Authors: Kafai, Yasmin
Wong, Jacqueline
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.
Citation: Kafai, Y. & Wong, J. (2008). Real Arguments about a Virtual Epidemic: Conversations and Contestations in a Tween Gaming Club. In Kanselaar, G., Jonker, V., Kirschner, P. A., & Prins, F. J. (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2008, Volume 1 (pp. 414-421). Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Recent studies have examined how argumentation around science is positioned and used in everyday interactions. Our research extends these investigations into a virtual world called and its annual outbreak of Whypox, a virtual epidemic. We observed and recorded players' conversations and contestations about Whypox in an after school gaming club. We found that club members' argumentation involved the use of warrants, rebuttals, and data as found in other studies of everyday argumentation. Players also developed different theories, some unwarranted, about the causes and spread of Whypox, and used the epidemic to position themselves as insiders. In our discussion, we address ways in which virtual epidemics connect to on-going research on everyday argumentation and provide starting points for students' learning about infectious diseases.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2008

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