Culture, Learning, and Participation
Edited By Anne Burke and Jackie Marsh
3. Developmental implications for children’s virtual worlds
| 26 →
Developmental Implications of Children’s Virtual Worlds
As virtual worlds for young children have increased in popularity, it is important to determine what exactly children do when they participate in such contexts and, equally critical, the potential of such participation to mediate their development— in particular, the costs and benefits that might accrue to children as a result of their participations in these online forums. Not surprisingly, research on this topic is sparse and in order to understand the implications of virtual worlds for children, we will use extant social science research on youth and other digital media such as video games and online contexts such as chat rooms, instant messaging, and social networking sites. Like video games, virtual worlds are three-dimensional, interactive, online fantasy worlds, and like online communication forums, they enable participants to create online selves and to interact and communicate with other users.
We begin the chapter by presenting a theoretical framework to understand the potential role of electronic media in young people’s lives; specifically, we present pathways by which these newer forms of media can potentially mediate development. Then we review existing research on youth and interactive media (video games and online media). Next, we examine the following three research questions in order to understand children’s virtual world participation and the developmental implications of these online activities: (1) What do young children do in virtual worlds and,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.