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There is a terrific disconnect between parenting advice related to media and the realities of contemporary parenting. We condone enrichment parenting and condemn the use of “digital babysitters,” admonishing parents who exceed the two-hour screen time limitation even when, all the while, no one is listening. Parents are not merely blasé about their children's development and well-being. Rather, for many parents, games and other media are a best-fit solution to the problem of resource constraints. Time is the resource; the demands on real-life parents and families are the constraint. Thus, we digital media literacy scholars would do well to shift our focus from children in relative isolation to families as a system. Only then will be we begin to see the historical, economic, and material (still highly gendered) contexts that shape child rearing and media use.
Journ al of Adolescent & Ad ult Lite racy xx (x) x x 2015 doi :10.100 2/jaa l.455 © 2015 Internatio nal Liter acy Association (pp. 1–5 )
Parenting and Video Games
Constance Steinkuehler
This year marks a decade that I have spent
researching and empirically documenting
the intellectual life of commercial video
games’ culture, examining their forms of scientific rea-
soning (Steinkuehler & Duncan, 2009), computa-
tional reasoning (Steinkuehler & Johnson, 2009), use
of mathematics (Steinkuehler & Williams, 2009),
forms of apprenticeship (Steinkuehler & Oh, 2012),
literacy (Black & Steinkuehler, 2009; Steinkuehler,
2007, 2008, 2012), and impact on design (Steinkuehler,
2006). If there is one simple lesson that I have learned
from doing this kind of research, it is this: People learn
from interaction with other people; technology can
either enable that interaction or get in the way, but it
cannot entirely and wholesale replace it. Why should
it, right?
That I start with this thesis may be of great com-
fort to many parents who worry over the amount of
screen time their children get, the content they are
engaging with, and the various interactions and
activities that video games may be averting their
attention from. This is very nearly every parent I have
ever run across. Most
expect me, as a games
scholar, to dismiss their
concerns about media
and argue shrilly that
video games will make
their kids smarter, more
tenacious, more cogni-
tively flexible, and more
literate in some way—as a kind of technological silver
bullet. Parents are relieved to hear that I do not advo-
cate for technology in this way. I know the arguments;
I simply do not find them entirely convincing.
Their relief quickly evaporates, though, when I
explain that games, like any other media, including
printed text (Gee, 2004), are only as smart as the prac-
tices that surround them. I know firsthand that screen
time can be brilliant or button mashing, depending
on the context of engagement and what conversation,
internal or external, it is facilitating. I have watched
youths in an after- school program, for example, col-
lectively deconstruct the model of a game and cri-
tique it, offering design solutions for the broken parts
and evaluating the game’s underlying simulation
based on its ability to predict real- world phenomena
(Steinkuehler, Alagoz, King, & Martin, 2012). I have
also watched other kids, in the very same program
and with the very same game, use technology as a way
to isolate and disengage. This latter pattern shifted
but not until a mentor intervened, established inter-
subjectivity (Tomasello, 1999) through sustained in-
teraction about the game, and tied its content and
mechanics to their own curiosities, not just the ones
that adults value.
That media in isolation are not a terribly effective
intervention is a big blow to many people. Researchers
continue to bemoan the lack of consistent effects for
games as some monolithic category of intervention,
as if the value of a medium can be assessed in isola-
tion from the who, what, when, and why of its pro-
duction and consumption (cf. Tobias & Fletcher,
Const ance Steinkuehler is an asso-
ciate professor at the University of
Wisconsin– Madison, USA; e - mail
2007; Young et al., 2012). Yet, parents are most de-
feated by this fact. For working parents in particular,
who have to juggle the time- consuming demands of
jobs and contemporary parenting expectations, the
news that media—even interactive games designed
explicitly to educate—on their own are no panacea is
fairly disheartening. Media play a crucial role in con-
temporary family life; if being discerning in the
choices we make for our children and opting for de-
velopmentally appropriate and educational content is
not enough, then what is?
Enrichment Parenting
Engaging in joint activity and sustained interactions
around those media is the answer, but this is not nec-
essarily welcome news (or new news). For a decade or
more, middle class parenting rhetoric, books, and
culture have maintained that we have to enrich and
play with our children directly: Read books interac-
tively with our children (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2014); enroll them in after- school work-
shops in soccer, dance, or robot construction to build
on their interests; sign them up for non- interest- driven
additional activities, such as piano and chess, to
broaden their horizons; hang out in local maker
spaces and fairs that herald production and not just
consumption; or build the Eiffel tower with them out
of toothpicks and glue while listening to French op-
era if you have to, but whatever you do, enrich. My
own research only emphasizes this point: It is particu-
lar forms of talk around commercial game titles that
make them such powerful vehicles for learning, I
argue, and joint activity is its engine.
Yet, here is the rub: The ecosystem for children’s
interaction with media in the home is, more often
than we like to admit, time when there is little parent
interaction or conversation around it. The rise of mo-
bile devices such as touch- screen tablets and smart-
phones has only fortified this pattern, although it is
certainly not the only cause.
Media is sometimes (often?) used to preoccupy
and engage children while a parent is busy with other
routine and otherwise mind- numbing tasks. This is
not neglect; this is the reality of many normal U.S.
households. We research and recommend practices
around media that utterly ignore this reality, as
though it is a shameful little secret that we do not
dare admit—because if you listen to parenting rheto-
ric, it is.
The “Digital Babysitter”
The specter of the digital babysitter is evoked in many
conversations about “what other parents do” with me-
dia in the home as a way to occupy children without
parental participation. The term surfaces in the most
surprising places: research conferences about digital
media literacy, leadership meetings on educational
policy, social get- togethers among fellow parents (pro-
gressive and conservative alike), and even game in-
dustry meetings in Silicon Valley with high- level
executives and creatives. The tone and tenor of the
conversation always seems to belie that we are talking
about some other household, one of some unspeci-
fied lower (social, economic, or cultural) class than
our own, filled with vague neglectful parents (typi-
cally moms) that is, by definition, a reference point
against which some equally vague “we” measure our-
selves. “Our” parenting, unlike “theirs,” is highly
hands- on, developmentally sensitive, ecofriendly, and
utterly intentionally enriching.
Of course, these same conversations also detail
the bevy of childcare experts required to allow each of
us to perform the high- wire balancing act between
professional and family obligations called American
middle class life. It commonly includes some config-
uration of full- or part- time stay- at- home mothers or
fathers, a nanny or two, high- quality preschools and
private schools (or, if you can still afford a house in a
good school district, public schools), and the occa-
sional babysitter (some student getting a master’s de-
gree in child development or the equivalent).
Regardless, we, it is implied and assumed, never need
to resort to the digital babysitter. The message is very
clear: Good parents do not use media as a way to oc-
cupy their children. The problem for me is that I
have heard the arguments here, too, and again I am
actually not terribly convinced.
The truth is that many terrific, nonneglecting
parents use media as a form of enrichment for their
children during just those times that are already tran-
sitional or polluted, when parents must attend to
other, more mundane things than their children and
their development. I personally confess that as a
Many terrific, nonneglecting
parents use media as a form of
enrichment for their children.
Parenting and Video Games
well- educated and hands- on mother of two, I cannot
always build the unicornasaurus from my son’s clever
dream last night out of Lego bricks with him right
now, or spontaneously generate appropriately scaf-
folded and scaled math games in the car on the com-
mute home for my older son who is sitting in the
backseat bored out of his mind while we are stuck in
traffic, or stop in the middle of a frantic dinner prepa-
ration to teach my younger son the sign for thank you
using a complex mix of feedback loops and rewards.
Yet, media can do those things. At least, that is what
we are hoping for when we, as parents, purchase cre-
ative educational media.
The reason we want media to work in isolation is
because of the ecosystem in which media often natu-
rally resides in the family home. If yours is a home
that sets recommended restrictions on screen time,
isolated- child- with- device media use may very well be
your family’s only form of media engagement.
The Two- Hour Rule
It is considered common knowledge that limiting
screen time is inherently a good thing. Campaigns
such as Healthy People 2020 (U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services) and Media Matters
(Media Matters for America) encourage parents to re-
strict screen time for children to two hours a day and,
for those younger than 2 years of age, to prohibit all
screen time entirely. Such admonitions are not with-
out their research basis (Gentile et al., 2004) and come
from a range of disciplines that span media violence
studies (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1995), obe-
sity research (Sisson et al., 2009), and of course literacy
(Wiecha, Sobol, Peterson, & Gortmaker, 2001). Even
in our own little village in the rural countryside of
Wisconsin, we receive perky e- mail reminders and
hear again and again from my older son’s public
school that “two hours a day!” is the rule of thumb for
kids and media. Over in my younger son’s private
Montessori school, what they lack in poster placard
reminders at the school entrance, they make up for in
hipster, well- educated, slow- food- movement parents
with raised eyebrows as my 4- year- old tucks his iPad
into his backpack for safekeeping until after school.
I am not the only parent who is not listening. In
2013, Americans consumed, on average, 13.6 hours
of media per person per day; in 2015, that number is
expected to rise to 15.5 hours (Short, 2013). Youth
ages 8–18 pack nearly 11 hours of media content into
7.5 hours of screen time each day (Rideout, Foehr, &
Roberts, 2010)—almost 4 times the recommenda-
tion. Only one in four early teenagers (ages 12–15)
meets the recommended daily media allowance
(Herrick, Fakhouri, Carlson, & Fulton, 2014). Screen
time recommendations are flouted for younger chil-
dren as well (Rideout, Lauricella, & Wartella, 2011):
Elementary school children (ages 5–8) have nearly
three hours (2:50) of screen time a day, preschool
children and toddlers (ages 2–4) over two hours
(2:18), and babies (ages 0–1) nearly an hour (0:53).
Why do the realities of media in the home vary so
dramatically from the recommendations? Are parents
simply blasé about their children’s media consump-
tion? Not at all. When you consider the family as a
whole rather than the child in isolation, the explana-
tion is hardly puzzling.
Car time alone typically burns up roughly half of
the allotted two hours of media daily, with the aver-
age mother spending over an hour a day running er-
rands (more than five per day; Surface Transportation
Policy Project, 1996): morning drop- off at school and
afternoon pickup, children’s enrichment activities,
weekly events and play dates, groceries, dry cleaning,
and a cascade of other mind- numbing errands.
During car commute time, screen time abounds.
How many parents would rather their child stare off
dully out the window at traffic pollution instead of
playing a developmentally appropriate app that
claims to “increase literacy by 20%!”?
Once you factor out car time, the two- hours- a-
day rule leaves about an hour of screen time remain-
ing for periods when families are home from the
work- and school day—the equivalent of one or two
games or shows, for example. In many households,
this remaining hour of screen time is used to keep a
child safely engaged and occupied while parents at-
tend to domestic chores (e.g., making dinner, chang-
ing over laundry) or perhaps every rare once in a
while a few minutes of uninterrupted conversation
with your partner, the quick call your boss insists you
take in the evening (despite your good boundaries), a
bit of much- needed exercise, or rarely indeed, a few
precious minutes to yourself to do nothing at all
except not take care of another creature’s needs.
For many parents, games and other media are a
best- fit solution to the problem of resource con-
straints. Time is the resource; the demands on real-
life parents and families are the constraint. The
two- hour restriction on screen time for young people
is a sensible rule of thumb, but it admits little about
typical family needs and routines. These family needs
and routines are typically driven not by research but
by economics (the majority of children are raised in
dual- income families, 34%, or single- parent homes,
26%; Schulte, 2014), antiquated family policy (that
has not been responsive to women’s needs in the
workplace), and cultural norms (providing for your
child’s basic needs for safety, food, warmth, and love
is no longer adequate; parents are now frightened
into believing that little Jenny may not place in the
right college if they are not reading her the right
books at age 3).
Parenting Around Video Games
Is Hard
The current mainstream logic of regulating screen
time is the same logic behind first- wave solutions to
the digital divide: that sheer access is the issue and
that rules of thumb for quantity can replace deeper
understanding of quality. Quality is determined not
simply by what game is being played on the device
but also in terms of when and where that play hap-
pens—in other words, by the home ecosystem into
which the media must necessarily fit—because, like
it or not, that ecosystem shapes the two most crucial
variables for determining the value of game play of
really any form: who and why.
The social interaction and joint activity that
frame the use of a device determine its value,
whether educational or otherwise. Parenting around
video games is hard because the ways video games
function in many homes means that a lot of game
play happens without a parent directly engaged in it.
Figuring out how to socially interact and engage in
joint activity around a game title—in other words,
how to do enrichment parenting in relation to
games—is not straightforward. Pressed for time, with
so few practical ways to directly game with your child
during the typical day, and with—for a good swath of
us—so little game play knowledge, experience, or
intrinsic interest, how are we supposed to pull this
It is hard enough to making informed, develop-
mentally appropriate media choices for my chil-
dren. Must I also be an expert in Madden NFL to
talk about the game with them in ways that might
leverage their interest in it as a catalyst for creativity
and learning? Do I have to play through all the
games my kids are playing, cheek to jowl in the
Cheerios- strewn backseat of my car, to parent games
well? Few moms really have the interest, energy, or
time to learn Madden NFL well enough to play a
round or two with their 10- year- old son, let alone
model data- driven argumentation about which slate
of current NFL players constitutes the strongest
team versus the 2014 Packers or where the underly-
ing game simulation is not realistic and why.
Besides, I would rather see mothers playing video
games for their own curiosities and amusements
than as another way to live up to the unreasonably
high standards that the current parenting culture
sometimes sets for us.
Instead, I suggest that we games and literacy
scholars shift our research focus from children in rel-
ative isolation to families as a system. Our work could
do better at being reflective and responsive to the re-
source, structural, and temporal demands on parents
today. Stevens, Barron, and others have begun laying
the pathways for thinking about coviewing from the
perspective of contemporary, interactive media
(Takeuchi & Stevens, 2011) and lifelong, life- broad
learning that includes learning technologies in the
home and other, more interstitial spaces (Barron,
Martin, Takeuchi, & Fithian, 2009). Before we de-
cide what good parenting looks like, we should seri-
ously examine the very real, very typical, and very
mundane ways in which media function in contem-
porary households and their effects, not just on indi-
vidual children but also on their family, too.
Moreover, we should make greater efforts to con-
nect our research to policy and popular culture by
offering practical and research- driven advice for par-
ents about not just how what or how much but also
who, how, and why. The work of scholars such as
Neuman (Bus & Neuman, 2009; Neuman, 1995) in
early childhood literacy and others provides an ex-
ample of how systematic empirical research can in-
deed translate into workable, realistic heuristics that
get past simple restrictions on screen time and instead
dive more deeply into the forms of talk and activity
that matter—and how we can get there without over-
whelming and overburdening parents who are al-
ready balancing a tremendous load.
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... In order to play the game, even in the less challenging 'creative' mode where the process of 'crafting' items is not central, and there is no threat element, a degree of gaming literacy is required. Whilst this may provide opportunity for child-led instruction and an empowering variation on standard power dynamics between parent and child (as mentioned in several of the comments in the current study), such a 'bare-bones' framework could act as a barrier to the involvement of parents who may not have personal repertoires of gaming experience to draw upon [38] nor an intrinsic interest in digital gaming as a medium [51]. ...
Conference Paper
Parent perceptions of game play have a crucial role in forming the context in which children engage with digital games. However, little empirical information is known about these perceptions. The current study addresses this gap by describing a detailed analysis of open text responses by parents about their views on the popular game Minecraft. We show that parents are able to identify a broad range of both positive and negative outcomes associated with the game. We situate these observations within historical discourses about the role of screen media in children's lives, and the way that play itself is valued. Combining the insights from our data with these broader perspectives informs scholars interested in children's digital play and points to design implications.
This study was to estimate the effect of owning a video game console on academic performance in STEM areas. We used an Instrumental Variable (IV) estimation strategy to establish the impact that these variables have on the academic performance of boys and girls. Additionally, we evaluated the effect of the interaction between owning a video game console and gender on academic performance. A database of 1.149.964 students was analyzed using models that combined an IV estimation strategy with the use of several core covariates (e.g., SES, Internet use). More specifically, academic performance was measured using the national college entrance exam in Colombia (Saber 11). Video game console ownership and other covariates were obtained from the living standards indicators in the same database. Results show that having a video game console helps to reduce the gender gap in STEM areas, besides improving academic results of all students. In areas in which girls already have better performance than boys, owning a video game console also improves girls’ academic results.
In this chapter we propose a new approach for designing virtual environments (VEs) that has the potential to make important contributions to teaching and learning history. We briefly outline the history of VR and define key terms and concepts. We describe three types of history-focused VEs, digital historical games, 3D historical reconstructions, and interactive storytelling, and discuss the opportunities and challenges they offer for history teaching and learning in terms of learning, accessibility, historical thinking, and historical empathy. In the final section, we describe the Digital Oral History for Reconciliation (DOHR) curriculum and virtual learning environment (VLE) that was created to promote relationality and historical empathy. We describe a new approach to designing curriculum-specific VLEs that offers several potential benefits for teaching and learning history and the design of interactive storytelling VLEs.
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This book explores the experiences of migrant mothers through the lens of the online communities they have created and participate in. Examining the ways in which migrant mothers build relationships with each other through these online communities and find ways to make a place for themselves and their families in a new country, it highlights the often overlooked labour that goes into sustaining these groups and facilitating these new relationships and spaces of trust. Through the concept of ‘digital community mothering,’ the author draws links to Black feminist scholarship that has shed light on the kinds of mothering that exist beyond the mother–child dyad. Providing new insights into the experiences of women who mother ‘away from home’ in this contemporary digital age, this volume explores the concepts of imagined maternal communities, personal maternal narratives, and migrant maternal imaginaries, highlighting the ways in which migrant mothers imagine themselves within local, national, and diasporic maternal communities. As such, it will appeal to scholars and students with interests in migration and diaspora studies, contemporary motherhood and the sociology of the family, and modern forms of online sociality.
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Digital gaming is a major part of the current media landscape. Parents employ a variety of practices, such as limiting gaming time and discussing games, when addressing their childrens' gaming. Yet, there is still a notable gaming-related generational gap between adolescents and their parents. In this qualitative study, gaming-related parenting practices and parents' and teenagers' views are examined through a thematic analysis of reports from Finnish, 16-19-year-old, active game players. The results suggest a core tension between elements of protection and understanding. Perceived parental attitudes towards gaming ranged from excessively negative to indifferent to very positive. These attitudes were not static, but instead changed according to life situations and parents' familiarity with gaming. Young game players' perceptions and views were also not uniform. Respondents indicated the need for both parental understanding of games and gaming, and parents' responsibilities in limiting gaming, particularly in the case of younger children. Implications for parenting and future research are discussed.
In this paper, we present a novel computer audition task; audio-based video game genre classification. The aim of this study is threefold: 1) to check the feasibility of the proposed task, 2) to introduce a new corpus: the Game Genre by Audio + Multimodal Extracts (G $^{2}$ AME), collected entirely from social multimedia, and 3) to compare the efficacy of various acoustic feature spaces to classify the G $^{2}$ AME corpus into 6 game genres using a linear support vector machine classifier. For the classification we extract three different feature representations from the game audio files: i) knowledge-based acoustic features, ii) DEEP SPECTRUM features, and iii) quantised DEEP SPECTRUM features using Bag-of-Audio-Words. The DEEP SPECTRUM features are a deep-learning based representation derived from forwarding the visual representations of the audio instances, in particular spectrograms, mel-spectrograms, chromagrams, and their deltas through deep task-independent pre-trained CNNs. Specifically, activations of fully connected layers from three common image classification CNNs, GoogLeNet, AlexNet, and VGG16 are used as feature vectors. Results for the 6-genre classification problem indicate the suitability of our deep learning approach for this task. Our best method achieves an accuracy of up to 66.9% unweighted average recall using 10-fold cross-validation.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to inform designers and researchers about the current state of play in videogames in education and its broader context. Design/methodology/approach This synthetic piece reflects the author’s past decade of work and observation in the domain. It is not a research piece but a reflective essay. Findings Structural issues inflect the development of games for learning. Here, the author argues for the incubation of a new indie scene in educational domains on par with the burgeoning indie scene in commercial entertainment games. Originality/value This is a short essay for scholars, designers and leaders in games for learning who work inside academics yet aspire to have their work impact not only on publications but also on products.
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Imagine an entire 3D world online, complete with forests, cities, and seas. Now imagine it populated with others from across the globe who gather in virtual inns and taverns gossiping about the most popular guild or comparing notes on the best hunting spots. Imagine yourself in a heated battle for the local castle, live opponents from all over collaborating or competing with you. Imagine a place where you can be the brave hero, the kingdom rogue, or the village sage, developing a reputation for yourself that is known from Peoria to Peking. Now imagine that you could come home from school or work, drop your book bag on the ground, log in, and enter that world any day, anytime, anywhere. Welcome to the world of massively multiplayer online gaming. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are highly graphic 2D or 3D video games played online, allowing individuals, through their self-created digital characters, or avatars, to interact not only with the gaming software (the designed environment of the game and the computer-controlled characters within it) but also with other players’ avatars. These virtual worlds are persistent social and material worlds loosely structured by open-ended (fantasy) narratives where players are largely free to do as they please – slay ogres, siege castles, barter goods in town, or shake the fruit out of trees. They are notorious for their peculiar combination of designed “escapist fantasy” yet emergent “social realism” (Kolbert, 2001): In a setting of wizards and elves, princes and knights, people save for homes, create basket indices of the trading market, build relationships of status and solidarity, and worry about crime.
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Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime. Pediatric providers have a unique opportunity to encourage parents to engage in this important and enjoyable activity with their children beginning in infancy. Research has revealed that parents listen and children learn as a result of literacy promotion by pediatricians, which provides a practical and evidence-based opportunity to support early brain development in primary care practice. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatric providers promote early literacy development for children beginning in infancy and continuing at least until the age of kindergarten entry by (1) advising all parents that reading aloud with young children can enhance parent-child relationships and prepare young minds to learn language and early literacy skills; (2) counseling all parents about developmentally appropriate shared-reading activities that are enjoyable for children and their parents and offer language-rich exposure to books, pictures, and the written word; (3) providing developmentally appropriate books given at health supervision visits for all high-risk, low-income young children; (4) using a robust spectrum of options to support and promote these efforts; and (5) partnering with other child advocates to influence national messaging and policies that support and promote these key early shared-reading experiences. The AAP supports federal and state funding for children's books to be provided at pediatric health supervision visits to children at high risk living at or near the poverty threshold and the integration of literacy promotion, an essential component of pediatric primary care, into pediatric resident education. This policy statement is supported by the AAP technical report "School Readiness" and supports the AAP policy statement "Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Role of the Pediatrician: Translating Developmental Science Into Lifelong Health."
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There is renewed interest in out-of-school programs for informal learning as a way to complement or supplementformal classrooms. Compelling evidence of learning in the context of virtual worlds is emerging, but few empirically detailed comparisons of programs based on such technologies exist. This article presents a cross-case analysis conducted on two out-of-school programs based on virtual environments involving Global Kid's "I Dig Science" situated in the virtual platform Teen Second Life and Games, Learning & Society Program's "Casual Learning Lab" based on the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Ethnographic methods were used for data collection across both in-game and face-to-face contexts at both sites with virtual and face-to-face data collection techniques used in combination. Analysis involved a code set of eleven a priori themes based on the shared goals of each program, resulting in 44 codes total. In this paper, the authors detail contrasts between the two programs in terms of argumentation, problem-solving, information literacy, and work place skills, highlighting differences between the two programs in terms of their contrasting "locus of intentionality" (designer versus participant) and concluding with a set of "petite generalizations" in the form of design heuristics for future virtual worlds based programs.
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Modding communities are particularly ripe environments for rethinking what it means to be IT literate in the contemporary world. Mods are, as we argue, computational literacy artifacts, exemplifying not merely computer literacy but also the ability to understand and use computational models and processes to conceptualize and solve problems. In this article, we describe modding practice in the context of the best-selling computer game to date: World of Warcraft. By analyzing such activities as a form of computational literacy practice “in the wild,” we demonstrate how modding illustrates what it means to be technically literate in the contemporary participatory sociotechnical world. Based on our analysis, we argue for reconsideration of computer literacy as computational literacy, authorship as collaborative and negotiated rather than individually achieved, and digital media literacy practice as one involving design and production, not merely passive or critical consumption. Purchase this article to continue reading all 13 pages >
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This article explores the forms of information literacy that arise in commercial entertainment games like World of Warcraft. Using examples culled from eight months of online ethnographic data, the authors detail the forms of information literacy that arise as a regular part of in-game social interaction, emphasizing (ironically) the intellectual nature of such purportedly ‘barren’ forms of play and highlighting the ways in which such practices help redefine the current model of what constitutes information literacy by bringing the collective and collaborative nature of such practices to the fore. Implications for future research are also discussed.
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Key findings: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey, 2012. Nearly all (98.5%) youth aged 12-15 reported watching TV daily. More than 9 in 10 (91.1%) youth aged 12-15 reported using the computer daily outside of school. In 2012, 27.0% of youth aged 12-15 had 2 hours or less of TV plus computer use daily. Among youth aged 12-15, girls (80.4%) were more likely to use the computer 2 hours or less daily when compared with boys (69.4%). Fewer non-Hispanic black youth aged 12-15 (53.4%) reported watching 2 hours or less of TV daily than non-Hispanic white (65.8%) and Hispanic (68.7%) youth. Excessive screen-time behaviors, such as using a computer and watching TV, for more than 2 hours daily have been linked with elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol, and being overweight or obese among youth (1-3). Additionally, screen-time behavior established in adolescence has been shown to track into adulthood (4). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-supported Expert Panel and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children limit leisure screen time to 2 hours or less daily (5,6). This report presents national estimates of TV watching and computer use outside of the school day.
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Do video games show demonstrable relationships to academic achievement gains when used to support the K-12 curriculum? In a review of literature, we identified 300+ articles whose descriptions related to video games and academic achievement. We found some evidence for the effects of video games on language learning, history, and physical education (specifically exergames), but little support for the academic value of video games in science and math. We summarize the trends for each subject area and supply recommendations for the nascent field of video games research. Many educationally interesting games exist, yet evidence for their impact on student achievement is slim. We recommend separating simulations from games and refocusing the question onto the situated nature of game-player-context interactions, including meta-game social collaborative elements.
Why do poor and minority students under-perform in school? Do computer games help or hinder learning? What can new research in psychology teach our educational policy-makers?