Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Hi to iTeDDy

There is widespread interest in iTeDDy in the UK, which recently launched itself at a press conference. This MP3 playing teddy is set to be the number-one selling toy this Christmas, according to the superstore Argos. Given how much children love cuddly creatures with technology embedded in their tummies (remember the Teletubbies?), then I would not be surprised. The adult interest in this toy reminds us of the social and cultural roles that toys play in society, as discussed by cultural theorists such as Barthes and Agamben. Children are inducted into society's technological interests and practices through such toys, as I argued five years ago now in this piece. Whilst the article might now be old and outdated, I stick by the sentiments!

2 comments:

chris Walsh christopher.walsh@deakin.edu.au said...

Thanks for talking about i-Teddy at Deakin last wek. I showed this blog and i-teddy to all of my 4th year education students. I think it represents a great example of how children are being socialised by the screen rather than the page (Kress, 2003) and being drawn into consumer culture. I can just imagine what a kid might want next if he/she already has the i-teddy!

Jackie Marsh said...

Hi Chris, it was great to meet you at Deakin and find out about the fabulous work you are doing on computer games. Why not start a blog about your 'World of Warcraft' experiences so we can all keep up with what you are doing? And yes, if children grow up with toys like the iTeddy from birth then they are going to demand even more sophisticated gadgets as they get older...can't wait to see what some of those might be!