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Social Science Media Studies

Digital Playgrounds

The Hidden Politics of Children's Online Play Spaces, Virtual Worlds, and Connected Games

by (author) Sara Grimes

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Category
Media Studies, General, General, General, Video & Electronic
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781442668201
    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
    $44.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781442615564
    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
    $44.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781442647442
    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
    $95.00

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Description

Digital Playgrounds explores the key developments, trends, debates, and controversies that have shaped children’s commercial digital play spaces over the past two decades. It argues that children’s online playgrounds, virtual worlds, and connected games are much more than mere sources of fun and diversion – they serve as the sites of complex negotiations of power between children, parents, developers, politicians, and other actors with a stake in determining what, how, and where children’s play unfolds.

 

Through an innovative, transdisciplinary framework combining science and technology studies, critical communication studies, and children’s cultural studies, Digital Playgrounds focuses on the contents and contexts of actual technological artefacts as a necessary entry point for understanding the meanings and politics of children’s digital play. The discussion draws on several research studies on a wide range of digital playgrounds designed and marketed to children aged six to twelve years, revealing how various problematic tendencies prevent most digital play spaces from effectively supporting children’s culture, rights, and – ironically – play.

 

Digital Playgrounds lays the groundwork for a critical reconsideration of how existing approaches might be used in the development of new regulation, as well as best practices for the industries involved in making children’s digital play spaces. In so doing, it argues that children’s online play spaces be reimagined as a crucial new form of public sphere in which children’s rights and digital citizenship must be prioritized.

About the author

Sara M. Grimes is an associate professor in the Faculty of Information and director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto.

Sara Grimes' profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Best Book Award of the Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology section of the A
  • Winner, Canadian Communication Association Gertrude J Robinson Book Award