Being Digital with My Daughter: A Continual Search for Positive Effects of Digital Games Cover Image

Being Digital with My Daughter: A Continual Search for Positive Effects of Digital Games
Being Digital with My Daughter: A Continual Search for Positive Effects of Digital Games

Author(s): Tomáš Farkaš
Subject(s): Media studies, Aesthetics, Social Informatics, Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), Present Times (2010 - today), ICT Information and Communications Technologies
Published by: Univerzita sv. Cyrila a Metoda v Trnave, Fakulta masmediálnej komunikácie
Keywords: Aesthetics; Children; Communication; Digital Games; Game Mechanics; Gameplay; Genre; Negative Effects; Playing; Positive Effects;

Summary/Abstract: This article examines the thin ice of discussion concerning digital games and children. From the very beginning of – still very short – history of digital games, there have been voices risen up, drumming the drums of war against it, claiming that this phenomenon should not be existing anywhere near the young ones. Today, the 21st century being still in the beginning, these voices are still audible. Not so strong, but still very much alive. There have been many discussions about how digital games negatively affect the lives of people, especially the youngest of us, creating a narrative about violence and aggressive behaviour. It should be said that many of these were completely ignoring the complex nature of digital games in all of their shades, genres, not even talking about their mechanics, often created precisely for creating positive effects on players. I have been a gamer my whole life. We bought our first personal computer in the 1990s when I was around ten years old. I experienced the negative side of digital games from a different perspective: being completely and utterly misunderstood by parents, constantly being told that I spend too much time by a computer. And here I am, being nearly forty years old, academic writing about digital games and even designing sounds for them and teaching my students about it. The goal of this article is to explore the effects of digital games from the perspective of the father of seven years old daughter, who started to be a gamer even sooner than me. However subjective this abstract seems to appear, the objective here is to be as neutral and scholarly as possible. This article will aim to stay true to a traditional (and stereotypical) perception of digital games, studying so-called positive and negative effects of digital games, but will also focus on more specific aspects of this phenomenon, regarding game aesthetics, mechanics and gameplay and even offline/online aspect of games – all of this being a subject of communication with my daughter, with whom I have been playing digital games from her two years of life. This paper also serves as a survey of what can we learn about/from digital games and – what can we learn from our children, playing them. Lastly, this text is intended to create a foundation for anyone willing to explore this territory from a slightly different perspective, focusing on qualitative aspects of research, dismissing the old narrative, and bringing it to the actual reality of studying games by playing them.

  • Issue Year: 8/2021
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 500-515
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English
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