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Dorte Marie Søndergaard

The multible, volatile and ambiguous effects of children's and young people's digital play

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Play with virtual aggression and violent fictional universes have a wide variety of meanings and evoke a wide variety of concerns in children’s and young people’s everyday lives. The insights provided in this text are based on ethnographic material produced by interview with 130 children aged 8-14 in schools, observations in schools, playgrounds and computer rooms at after-school clubs, along with interviews with pedagogues, teachers and parents. I argue that a) virtual play with violence may enact multiple, volatile and ambiguous material-discursive, relational and subjective effects and that b) understanding the processes involved in gaming demands situated analyses, which are sufficiently sensitive to enable a conceptualization of the complexities of the social and subjective concerns and phenomena involved. Single- and multiplayer gaming spaces intra-act (Barad) with children’s relational agency and with their longing for belonging in all sorts of ways, such as making bullying concerns and concerns about close or troubled friendships relevant in different ways across the varying gaming scenarios offered by the gaming industry. Also, mediated by virtual violence children engage in mutual negotiations of appropriate and inappropriate doings of social categories, as well as of (in)appropriate maneuverings of the violence and aggression that they witness as a widespread concern in their culture, and among the adults with whom they share this culture. Bringing agential realism (Barad) and poststructuralism (e.g. Butler, Davies, Søndergaard) into the analyses of this material the text offers a grounded knowledge about the meaning of and concerns about virtual violent gaming practices which transgresses the predominant media effect studies tradition and its rigorist focus on potential transference of aggression to children.
TitelCultures of computer game concern : the child across families, law, science and industry
RedaktørerEstrid Sørensen
Antal sider19
ForlagTranscript Verlag
ISBN (trykt)978-3-8376-3934-6
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-8394-3934-0
StatusUdgivet - 2018


  • Video game concerns, Violent video games, School, Children, Young people, Agential Realism-New Materialism, Qualitative analyses, Grundskole, Mobning, Børnekultur, Ungdomskultur, Ungdomsforskning, Teknologiforståelse

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