Conspicuous Computing: Gamified Bodies, Playful Composition, and the Monsters in Your Pocket

This article examines the rise in popularity of wearables and their intersection with mobile gaming to identify their potential for composing non-discursive, multimodal texts in writing classrooms. Using play and creative misuse as compositional strategies, I argue that the recent shift away from personal computers as the main way of producing texts offers the potential for teachers to increase the digital literacy of their students. The main roadblock to such a literacy is conspicuous computing, which I define as the phenomenon of wearables designed with a remediated display that attempts to obfuscate its actual computing processes. Disrupting conspicuous computing can lead to social, cultural, and political critiques as evidenced through two real-world examples where users integrate play into their composing process to produce expressive and persuasive texts. As students begin to view the wearables they use in their everyday life as productive mediums instead of passive consumer devices, this can lead to a more critical understanding of the networked, multimodal, and digital worlds they inhabit. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.

This article examines the rise in popularity of wearables and their intersection with mobile gaming to identify their potential for composing non-discursive, multimodal texts in writing classrooms. Using play and creative misuse as compositional strategies, I argue that the recent shift away from personal computers as the main way of producing texts offers the potential for teachers to increase the digital literacy of their students. The main roadblock to such a literacy is conspicuous computing, which I define as the phenomenon of wearables designed with a remediated display that attempts to obfuscate its actual computing processes. Disrupting conspicuous computing can lead to social, cultural, and political critiques as evidenced through two real-world examples where users integrate play into their composing process to produce expressive and persuasive texts. As students begin to view the wearables they use in their everyday life as productive mediums instead of passive consumer devices, this can lead to a more critical understanding of the networked, multimodal, and digital worlds they inhabit. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.

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