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Children’s Virtual Play Worlds

Culture, Learning, and Participation


Edited By Anne Burke and Jackie Marsh

As children’s digital lives become more relevant to schools and educators, the question of play and learning is being revisited in new and interesting ways. Children’s Virtual Play Worlds: Culture, Learning, and Participation provides a more reasoned account of children’s play engagements in virtual worlds through a number of scholarly perspectives, exploring key concerns and issues which have come to the forefront. The global nature of the research in this edited volume embraces many different areas of study from school based research, sociology, cultural studies, psychology, to contract law showing how children’s play and learning in virtual spaces has great potential and possibilities.
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2. Post-industrial play: Understanding the relationship between traditional and converged forms of play in the early years


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Post-industrial Play

Understanding the Relationship between Traditional and Converged Forms of Play in the Early Years



Children’s play is understood to form a central aspect of early childhood education (Wood, 2010). However, post-industrial conceptions and experiences of society have challenged traditional understandings about what constitutes play, as well as the type of play experiences that are considered necessary for supporting children’s learning in early childhood settings (Zevenbergen, 2007). This chapter considers existing research regarding the relationship between traditional perspectives on play and the emergence of a more contemporary form of play characterised by the convergence among digital media, digital technologies, and popular culture. Geertz’s (1973) suggestion that culture be understood as a ‘web of meaning’ people create for themselves is used as a framework for thinking about how children’s play may be seen to intersect across traditional and converged types of play activity in a post-industrial context. The pedagogical use of a post-industrial conceptualisation of play for early years education are considered.

Post-industrial Society, Digital Convergence, and Children’s Play

Post-industrial perspectives on society focus on how digital technologies have enabled new forms of social and communicative interaction between people and social ← 10 | 11 → organisations. Lankshear and Knobel (2006) suggest this is because the “internet-worked nature of new digital technologies have introduced new ways of doing things and new ways of being” (p. 34). In the broader...

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