dren construct collaboratively a living habitat and negotiate together its constraints and features. With reference to that goal, CitySpace picks up on existing simulation games, such as SimCity and SimEarth, that allow players to design and govern cities and ecological habitats according to their own choices.
Children making games provided us with a window into their minds. By placing children in the roles of producers rather than consumers of video games, we allowed them to express their ideas and fantasies. It was more than obvious that gender differences permeated all aspects of game designing. One conclusion is that today's commercial video games do not address girls' interests and concerns, if one takes the games girls construct as an expression of what they wish to see and play. Another important conclusion of this study is that making video games, as opposed to playing them, clearly engaged girls' and boys' minds and fantasies for a long period of time. When the tables are turned, video games become a medium for children's personal and creative expression.
A similar version of this chapter was presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Play in Atlanta, April 1994. Many thanks to Patricia Greenfield, Mitchel Resnick, Uri Wilensky, and Greg Kimberly for their reviews. The results are based on my thesis research. I wish to thank my thesis committee members, David Perkins, Seymour Papert, Idit Harel and Terry Tivnan, for their help and insightful comments. I also thank Joanne Ronkin and her students for their collaboration and great contribution to this work. Without them, this research would not have been possible. The research reported here was conducted at Project Headlight's Model School of the Future and was supported by the IBM Corporation (Grant OSP95952), the National Science Foundation (Grant 851031-0195), the McArthur Foundation (Grant 874304), the LEGO Group, Fukatake, and the Apple Computer, Inc. The preparation of this chapter was supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant 8751190-MDR) and Nintendo Inc. The ideas expressed here do not necessarily reflect the positions of the supporting agencies. This chapter is a reprint (with slight modifications) from P. Greenfield and R. Cocking (Eds.), Effects of Interactive Entertainment ( 1996), with permission from Ablex Publishing Corporation.
Baugham S. S., & Clagett P. D. ( 1983) (Eds.). Video games & human development. Research agenda for the '80s. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education.