"Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures" is a three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives. Read more
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Photo Credits: Ritchie Ly and Geert Allegaert.
Project staff: Mimi Ito, Brendan Callum, Renee Saito
Former project staff: Annie Manion, Rachel Cody
Collaborators: Ryan Shaw, Jennifer Urban
The goal of this study is to construct a series of ethnographic case studies of the activities of English-language fandoms of Japan-origin media, particularly anime (animation) and related media such as electronic games, trading cards, and manga (comics). Building on Ito's prior research on children's engagement with new media in Tokyo, this study adds a transnational dimension, focusing on how English-language fans translate, subtitle, share, and remix Japan-origin media. The project aims for a broad ethnographic description of the diverse range of fan activities that comprise anime fandom, focused on the US and English-language online sites. These sites and activities include anime clubs, anime and game conventions, fan subtitling groups, online “shrine” sites dedicated to particular characters or series, anime news and discussion sites, file sharing sites, internet relay chat, anime music videos, fan art, and fan fiction.