Toys, Games, and Media

Toys, Games, and Media

Toys, Games, and Media

Toys, Games, and Media

Synopsis

This book is a state-of-the-art look at where toys have come from and where they are likely to go in the years ahead. The focus is on the interplay between traditional toys and play, and toys and play that are mediated by or combined with digital technology. As well as covering the technical aspects of computer mediated play activities, the authors consider how technologically enhanced toys are currently used in traditional play and how they are woven into childrens' lives. The authors contrast their findings about technologically enhanced toys with knowledge of traditional toys and play. They link their studies of toys to goals in education and to entertainment and information transfer. This book will appeal to students, researchers, teachers, child care workers and more broadly the entertainment industry. Itnbsp;is appropriate for courses that deal with the specialized subject of toys and games, media studies, education and teacher training, and child development.

Excerpt

The exciting thing about this book is that one greets it as the latest news about what is happening with the development of media literacy for children. What we want to know is how are the children making out with television, video games, the Internet, computers, and, of course, toys, games, and books? None of us adults older than middle age went through any massive hybridization such as this. The oldest of us had only radio, not many toys, but many books and plenty of street games. What we learn in this volume is that there is an increasing integration of all these processes in the lives of the children being studied. Whether we are talking about homes or schools, education or entertainment, playground play or media play, commercial or public investments, or children or adults, a melding is going on that is having varying combinations of effects on how children develop in contemporary society. Yet if we read these chapters carefully, we find two major messages: The one is largely negative about the failure of various “educationally loaded” media to absorb children, and the other is largely positive about the success of play to continue its existence within the new context of these multiple media.

NEGATIVE MESSAGES

A careful reading of these chapters gives the impression that most of them see the current educational media situation as doing an inadequate service to the play life of children. No one denies that media socialization is inevita-

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