Language Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 261–284 | Cite as

Language policy in the making: an analysis of bilingual gaming activities

  • Sirpa Leppänen
  • Arja Piirainen-Marsh
Original Paper


Building on an understanding of language policy as continually evolving, emergent and influenced by norms of specific communities and cultures, this paper investigates the practices through which young people negotiate informal language policies when interacting with new media in the context of electronic gaming. We examine how young new media users participating in gaming activities construct norms of bilingual language use. Gaming is a new media setting where the resources of more than one language are deployed to create local meanings and negotiate situated identities. Gamers and fans as social agents appropriate contextually available linguistic resources and thus actively and sensitively negotiate the norms and policies relevant to them. We argue that future discussion of the impact of new media on language use should be informed by detailed analysis of the micro-management and policing of norms, practices and repertoires in specific contexts of media use.


Emergent language policies Fan fiction Game-playing Gaming activities New media Normativity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LanguagesUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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