The construction of gamer identity in narratives about video game playing and formal education learning experiences

  • Jingyang Ai School of Education and Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, United Kingdom
  • Beth Cross School of Education and Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, United Kingdom
  • Carole Bignell School of Education and Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, United Kingdom
Keywords: gamer identity, learner identity, life history, video games, narrative


This study investigates how video game play influences gamers’ formal education through perceptions of their ‘gamer’ and ‘learner’ identities. Based on identity foundation in symbolic interactionism, we take gamer and learner identities as meaning structures with both dynamic and stable dimensions. The basis of this gamer identity perspective is identity has a crucial role in investigating learning. Applying a life history approach, we interviewed 10 participants in one-to-one interviews, with three interviews for each participant. Applying the narrative portrait, we analysed participant data. We found that gamer identity construction from video game playing, as a vital meaning structure, has four main aspects, namely in-game identification, social community expansion, restorative effect and meaning recognition, providing gamers with expansive ways to build learner and personal identity as that can benefit their formal education.


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How to Cite
Ai J., Cross B., & Bignell C. (2023). The construction of gamer identity in narratives about video game playing and formal education learning experiences. Research in Learning Technology, 31.
Original Research Articles