The value of identity emphasizes the inherently multicultural nature of new media, as well as the increasingly fluid and malleable nature of the self. Buckingham (2008) argues that “a focus on identity requires us to pay close attention to the diverse ways in which media and technologies are used in everyday life, and their consequences both for individuals and for social groups. It entails viewing young people as significant social actors in their own right, as ‘beings,’ and not simply as ‘becomings’ who should be judged in terms of their projected futures” (19). Gee (2003) points out that some identities are more valued by society than others, and many individuals may have limited access to the most valued identities. A video game may invite a player to “think of himself an active problem solver, one who persists in trying to solve problems even after making mistakes; one who, in fact, does not see mistakes as errors but as opportunities for reflection and learning” (Gee, 2003: 44). Identity involves new media literacies such as the ability to adopt alternative identities for improvisation and discovery (performance) and working with diverse communities and alternative norms (negotiation).
Students with strong identities: