Video Games: The Interface Between Language Learning and Storytelling

Farzad Parsayi, Ali Soyoof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Among the ever-increasing number of media, video games have enjoyed an ever-rising popularity among different generations of players. In a parallel fashion, researchers have continued to investigate their educational merit. The annual revenue of video games now exceeds the most lucrative film industry worldwide of Hollywood (Gee, 2012). Video games have been found to be an asset in learning in various educational contexts, and especially in teaching a new language, including the genre of story/narrative. It would therefore seem that a reciprocal relationship might be possible in their usefulness for teaching English literature as well the language involved in using video games. Thus, probing the former and latter area simultaneously may provide a relatively new vantage point in relation to ESL/EFL learners. To this end, this research sought to put the spotlight on video games as an educational tool for both storytelling and teaching English. A total of ten ESL/EFL language learners from the three different countries of Iran, Brazil and Italy were participated in semi-structured interview to explore their experience in playing video games and their views on the usefulness of the experience for their ability to grasp the narrative of the story and the extent to which they thought the experience assisted their learning of English. The findings of the study underpin the veracity of the argument that video games are highly influential in not only narrating new stories but also in facilitating the learning of a new language, but as small, exploratory study these results encourage further research that is designed to reveal the detail and depth of learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Pedagogies and Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this