Computer Games as Part of Children’s Culture

A good read keeping an open mind on the effects of children playing video games and their educational development.

This section stood out to me, as it’s something that is called out quite a lot among educators, parents and even students with the dissonance between (some) teaching perspectives and students methods of learning and engagement.

A better knowledge about informal learning processes and their background seems to be necessary in order to avoid a “clash of media cultures.” This metaphoric notion implies the following: teachers, parents, and others engaged in education and tuition are members of a generation which – during its primary socialization – has grown up in a different media culture and has different media experiences than the young generation of today. These (informal) experiences do not only influence their private values and attitudes towards new media, but they also have an impact on their educational concepts and actions. However, this coherence is usually not being reflected. In other words, parents and educators tend to address the media cultures of children and youth from their own generational perspectives which they represent as an implicit norm in educational – and political – discourses (Schäeffer, 1998; Wittpoth, 1999; Fromme, 2000; Fromme, 2001). This implies that “new media” – that is media which someone did not grow up with – are often looked at with distrust and scepticism. In addition, members of the older generation on the whole still seem to represent what Max Weber called a “protestant ethic” (1985) which implies a rationalized lifestyle and a specific form of self control. Parents and teachers, for example, usually want children to use a computer for more than playing computer games and if they accept the computer, it is mostly because they want and expect it to lead to more serious types of PC-related activities like writing texts or using educational or learning software (Leu, 1993).


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