Foreign ludicity in online role-playing games

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34 Scopus citations


This article reports on an explorative case study which, in the first place, aimed to ascertain different types of foreign language play in online role-playing in Second Life, and which, secondly aimed to describe how various sources of contextual support can explain this foreign language play. Students' written conversation was analyzed and further discussed in six vignettes based on a revised framework of form-based, semantic, and pragmatic play. This study discovered that students' collaborative and competitive role-playing creates and transforms languages and activities, such as puzzle solving, verbal dueling, word games, and ritual performances. As a pedagogic device, online role-playing games appear to facilitate foreign language play through appropriate use of environmental resources, virtual characters, hybrid codes, and collaborative activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-473
Number of pages19
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • foreign language play
  • role-playing games
  • Second Life


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