This chapter explores the game-making of a group of Aboriginal children in Northern Australia, using mobile phones. Digital games have become central to young people's worlds, and their shifts between the virtual and real worlds inhabit their play, language usage and literacy practices. In an Aboriginal context, poor outcomes on national standardised literacy and numeracy assessments in English have markedly restricted the scope for Indigenous languages. This chapter describes the complexity of the language learning practices that might be overlooked in an era of neoliberal schooling reforms.
The study was conducted in Maningrida, a community in Northern Australia. The participants were Kunibídji children who speak Ndjébbana as their preferred language, even when viewing texts in English on mobile phones. The children repurposed commercial digital games using their own cultural knowledge and practices. Links were made between game-making and learning in the curriculum to identify the complexity of the children's language usage and to create awareness of the potential benefits for teachers. The chapter argues for young people's mediascapes to be included in the language and literacy curriculum. Translanguaging in the context of this study reveals the need to uphold the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with respect to language and educational opportunities.