Dr Fields' new book to be released October 15
Play is fundamentally important for kids' development, but, Kafai and Fields argue, to understand play in virtual worlds, we need to connect concerns of development and culture with those of digital media and learning. Kafai and Fields do this through a detailed study of kids' play in Whyville, a massive, informal virtual world with educational content for tween players. Combining ethnographic accounts with analysis of logfile data, they present rich portraits and overviews of how kids learn to play in a digital domain, developing certain technological competencies; how kids learn to play well -- responsibly, respectfully, and safely; and how kids learn to play creatively, creating content that becomes a part of the virtual world itself.
From the foreword by Mizuko Ito, "This book by Kafai and Fields gently disarms and redirects these concerns towards a productive intergenerational dialog and positive agenda for educational research and design. The authors do this not by simply asserting their expertise or a moral imperative about children and technology, but through careful observation and representation of the agency, ingenuity, and social conscience of children themselves... It is this kind of meaningful and intentional connectivity that provides our best hope for making the online world a productive force for not just children, but for our collective and increasingly digitally mediated future."