Reconsidering passivity and activity in children’s digital play
Mustola, M., Koivula, M., Turja, L., & Laakso, M.-L. (2018). Reconsidering passivity and activity in children’s digital play. New Media and Society, 20 (1), 237-254. doi:10.1177/1461444816661550
Published inNew Media and Society
© The Author(s) 2016. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by SAGE. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
The discussion around children’s digital game culture has resulted in two contradictory images of children: the passive, antisocial children uncritically and mechanically consuming digital game content and the active, social children creatively using and interacting with digital game content. Our aim is to examine how these seemingly contradictory ideas of “active” and “passive” children could be considered. By means of empirical examples of children playing digital dress-up and makeover games, we will point out that for the successful use of these concepts, they need to be thoroughly contextualized. By discussing the context and referent of activity and passivity, it is possible to overcome the unnecessary polarization of the discourses on children’s digital game culture. If the purpose is to advance the multidisciplinary discussion on digital games and childhood, the naive or careless use of the concepts of activity and passivity should be avoided.