Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media

About Digital Youth

"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.

Playing Bully: An Ethnographic Study of Game Play

Parents, teachers, and policy makers worldwide are currently concerned with the increasing importance of teenagers' use of video games. The scope of the debate around game play is wide: some groups fear the effects of games on the users, whereas others are looking for ways to harness digital games as learning tools.

Using Bully (Rockstar Games, 2006) as a case-study we are investigating the variety of meanings that video games have for young gamers, particularly in relation to their social lives at home and with friends. Instead of concentrating on the possible consequences, or 'effects', of media consumption, we would like to focus on the everyday contexts of play. We hope that this study will contribute to a better understanding of the social dimensions of video games, that is, the contextual aspects of gaming.

This research is grounded on the assumption that gaming is, first and foremost, a social activity. We will be investigating the complex interaction between gamers, games, and society tout court using a combination of different approaches (ethnography, sociology, cultural studies and game studies).

We are currently looking for participants for this study. Let us know if you are interested.