Culture, Learning, and Participation
Edited By Anne Burke and Jackie Marsh
1. Introduction: The changing landscapes of children’s play worlds
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The Changing Landscapes of Children’s Play Worlds
ANNE BURKE AND JACKIE MARSH
Play has consistently been a key focus of study for researchers interested in children’s cultural worlds (Corsaro, 1997; Singer & Singer, 2005; Sutton-Smith, 1997). In the midst of fast-paced social, economic, and technological changes, however, we need to continue to make a concerted effort to understand how play is evolving (Willet, Richards, Marsh, Burn, & Bishop, in press). Questions pertaining to children’s physical, developmental, emotional, and social growth are emerging from their participation in virtual play worlds (e.g., Kafia, 2010; Marsh, 2010; Subrahmanyam, 2009). Moreover, as schools begin to become more receptive to finding space for children’s out-of-school technological literacy practices, the question of the relationship between play and learning is being revisited in new and interesting ways (Merchant, Gillen, Marsh, & Davies, 2012). Issues surrounding play in young children’s virtual worlds is assuming an important part of such discussions; the aim of this book is to make a contribution to this emergent body of work, drawing on a range of empirical studies in the area conducted in recent years.
There is now a strong body of work that demonstrates how many young children are immersed in the landscape of digital technologies from a young age. Children in contemporary societies are surrounded by a range of digital media
including computers, handheld and console video game players, and other...
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