Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Eric Mason, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Melissa Bianchi, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D.


Modern competitive video games are complex systems that require players to learn techniques and develop strategies in response to computer- or human-controlled opponents. Building on the work of both game studies scholars and game designers, this thesis analyzes various learning spaces within and surrounding competitive video games, including in-game tutorials, arcades, and online communities. It focuses on “fighting games,” those competitive video games in which, typically, two players control characters to face off in single combat. Through analysis of the interfaces used, the audio-visual artifacts present within the tutorial sections of fighting games, and the paratextual materials produced by members of the fighting game community to instruct others on how to play, this thesis highlights the learning principles active within this genre of video games.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.