Language in Game Rules and Game Play: A Study of Emergence in Pandemic

  •  Rei Masuda    
  •  Jonathan deHaan    



Language and games are both creative activities that can exhibit unexpected behaviors and meanings. Previous studies in the connections between games and language have focused on digital games. The current study investigated the emergence of language in a modern cooperative board game (Pandemic) and used discourse analysis tools to compare and contrast the textual rule book and oral discussions in observed gameplay in terms of speech acts and vocabulary. Unexpected language did emerge in the gameplay, and in general, the longer text and sentences of the rulebook contained more academic vocabulary, and the shorter game play language contained more slang and expressives. Limitations of the study are elucidated and suggestions for future research and uses of analog games for learners of foreign languages are offered.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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