GIPI · Grupo Imágenes Palabras e Ideas

Adventure video games: Harry Potter’s trans-media phenomenon


In this project we worked during the Language and Literature class with Secondary Education students, using the video game “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. Participants, through the recreation in written form of the adventures lived within the video game, became aware of how the same story could be explained transversally through different formats and expressed in many different ways by using different languages.


  • To analyze how boys and girls discover differences and similarities between the different media in which Harry Potter is present: video game, film and novel.
  • To design educational settings where, on the basis of an adventure video game, participants develop their narrative thinking process.

Project Development

In this project we analyzed an experience conducted with students in year 1 of ESO and the video game Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, of the Harry Potter series, a character that comes from the literary world but that has also been adapted in film.

The teacher compiled a mission list to situate students at different points within the game and help them advance more rapidly, solving a greater number of tasks.


At first, the main objective had been set as the establishing of relationships between the video game and other media in which Harry Potter has been broadcasted. However, as the workshop progressed, teacher and researchers also became aware of the powerful possibilities offered by the use of the video game itself.

Finally, and in order to work contents in the Language area related to writing, we decided that participants, based on the adventures lived with the video game, should create texts of a varied nature with the aim of publishing them in the class newspaper, El Profeta.


The teacher as an expert

When we use video games in the classroom it is important for the teacher to have played previously. The knowledge of the video game acquired transforms the teacher’s role, who becomes an expert capable of organizing activities around it.

Harry Potter and the trans-media phenomenon

Harry Potter’s story is presented through different media. This capability for stories to be able to go from one medium to another turns adventure video games into the ideal tools to acquire new discourses associated to multiple literacy means.


Learning to tell stories and solve problems

Although at the beginning we assumed the educational value of this video game laid on its power to develop the narrative thinking process, during the workshop we perceived Harry to be a character who taught not only how to tell stories but also how to analyze and solve the problems hidden behind the plot of his adventures.


Agreement of collaboration between the University of Alcalá and the video game company Electronic Arts (EA), within its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan. Date: June 2009.

Also participating

  • Students and teachers from the Secondary Education Institute Manuel de Falla (Coslada).

More information


  • Lacasa, P.; Méndez, L.; Martínez, R. (2008). Aprender a contar historias y a reflexionar con videojuegos comerciales. In Gross, B. ‘Videojuegos y Aprendizaje’. Barcelona: Grao.
  • Lacasa, P., Méndez, L., & Martinez, R. (2008) ‘Bringing commercial games into the classrooms’ Computers and Composition,25, pp. 331-358.
  • Lacasa, P.; Martínez-Borda, R.; Méndez, L. (2008) ‘Developing new literacies using commercial digital games as educational tools’. Linguistis & Education, 19 (2), pp. 85-106.
  • Lacasa, P.; Méndez, L.; Martínez, R. (2009). ‘Learning using videogames as educational tools: Building bridges between commercial and serious games’. In Marja Kankaanranta & Pekka Neittaanmäki (Eds) ‘Design and use of serious games’, (107-126). Milton Keynes, UK: Springer.


Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009.
Coordination: Pilar Lacasa. Editing and digital support: David Herrero Mart铆nez. Web Master: Luis Briso de Montiano Aldecoa. Graphic Design: Rebeca Ochoa Bernabé

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