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Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth DevelopmentFrom Playpen to Playground$
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Marina Umaschi Bers

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199757022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757022.001.0001

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Community Building as Contribution

Community Building as Contribution

Chapter:
(p.119) Chapter 9 Community Building as Contribution
Source:
Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development
Author(s):

Marina Umaschi Bers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757022.003.0011

This chapter taps into the civic dimension opened by new technologies that promote community building. From video games to virtual worlds, research has shown that several technologies engage young people to become contributors to their communities both globally and locally. This chapter explores how educators can take advantage of children and teen’s increased time spent with technology by providing a digital landscape designed with community building in mind. Video games and Virtual Worlds can encourage young people to tackle simulations of civic struggles, preparing them for an actively engaged adulthood. Children can experiment with different strategies freely, seeing how their contributions affect the digital community as a whole and how this might extend to the community that extends beyond the digital world, knowing that they can make a difference.

Keywords:   Community, contribution, civic engagement, video games, Virtual Worlds, “serious” games, participatory democracy, neighbourhood

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