In network: Gaming theory as a strategy for building digital health literacy Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Bunner, Emily
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • This dissertation examines how theories and rhetorics from game studies create deeper understanding of the literacy needs for writers in the networked, multimodal environment surrounding American health care. I combine video game and social network theories to explore how computational algorithms and protocols interact with social networks in the communication of high-stakes knowledge. Gaming theory is a timely tool with which to address health literacy because contemporary medical communication flows through and is shaped by a technologically mediated system that can be understood as a set of rules both supporting and constraining action. My work demonstrates the importance of game studies to literacy scholarship by showing the rhetorical dimensions of networked health information and play. This dissertation includes in-depth case studies on the formation of knowledge around gluten sensitivity, vaccine refusal, and rhetorical constructions of diagnosis in networked media. It concludes with a plan for how we can incorporate network theories informed by game studies in Writing in Disciplines and Writing across the Curriculum instruction on medical writing and other high-stakes professional discourse. The literacies supported by this approach will train writers in the ability to think more ably and ethically across a variety of language communities.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Jack, Jordynn
  • Haynes, Cynthia
  • Danielewicz, Jane
  • Anderson, Daniel
  • Taylor, Todd
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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