Sunday, 24 June 2007

Children's virtual worlds

I have been observing my 5-, 8- and 9-year-old nieces as they navigate the virtual worlds 'Club Penguin' and 'Barbie Girls'. Interestingly, the social side of this 'social software' appears to take second-place to identity construction and shopping (and therefore needing to earn enough money to shop). Children's play has been embedded within commercialised practices for many years, but this engagement with a virtual labour market is novel. Some parents may no doubt quite like the idea of their children developing a work ethic, but it seems to me that this aspect of these worlds mitigates against more extensive social involvement and further entrenches children in the markets of globalised commodities. For example, the Barbie virtual shopping experience is linked to the 'real'-word purchase of a Barbie MP3 player - once you have purchased that (with 'real' $s, not 'Barbie bucks'), you can buy more, even cooler, things in the online world. I guess what is going on here is little different to some of the adult activity in virtual worlds - this is, as we know, a booming real-word economy. This analysis of virtual (or 'synthetic') world economies draws on Bourdieu's concepts of economic, social and cultural capital, concepts as relevant to these spaces as 'meat-space'. Certainly, an analysis of the interactions of these three forms of capital can help to illuminate much of the current activity in 'Club Penguin' and 'Barbie World' and is informing a current paper I am writing, which I will post here when I set up the appropriate feeder site. It will be interesting to hear about the project Guy is involved in, in which he is working with schools on constructing and using a virtual world - what form of capital becomes of most value in an educationally-orientated virtual world? Virtual cultural capital?


Anonymous said...


I've been involved with exploring virtual worlds, specifically second life. I did an interview with my son about it - but he's not yet in penguin club.

Anyway, not sure if you saw this research about education and virtual worlds

In the adult end of things, some adults are saying that virtual worlds are just a fad and hype.

What do you think?

Jackie Marsh said...

Hi Beth, nice to have you visit my new blog! I'll look up the research you mention, thanks.

In relation to your last question, I think there have always been adults who have positioned new interests/ artefacts/ discourses as 'fads' and 'hype' because they haven't yet come to grips with the social changes those new things bring along with them. I think virtual worlds are definitely here to stay and in fact will evolve in really interesting ways as the years go by, especially if young children are growing up already immersed in many of the online world practices...I can't wait to see how these children further develop these spaces in the future and guess there will be greater blurring of online/offline worlds?

DrJoolz said...

And Andrew Weeks talks about the 'cult of the amateur' in his new book about 'Web 2.0"

FlowerChild said...

Our family plays mostly in Xivio. They do have a virtual economy that is free and you earn vio=money by staying online in the world, trading and playing interaction games. They play trivia, wordscrambles, and more but they play with the guardians and each other on the site.

The guardians are adult moderators on the site that keep the peace so to speak and play games.

The site has parental controls, premium membership for premium items and you can buy vio however, if your child is just playing for fun the free membership covers it all.

Anyone elses kids play on Xivio?

Anonymous said...

There is a new virtual world called, I have been following and they really seam to have it down. I enjoyed reading your blog

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would agree with you that Virtual Worlds are hear to stay. I actually witness it's power every day as much of the work we now do in our company is done virtually and just like the internet it has allowed me to do much more with my time. I use to present our products to about 4-6 new clients a week and now that I have eliminated my travel and use our virtual office space, I can achieve that in a day. Plus, my children are thrilled that I have significantly reduced my travel away from home.
My boys are 10 and 12 and they spend all of their entertainment time in virtual worlds, webkinz at first and now club penguin, along with several virtual environment games that allow for the creation of their own environment and also their own businesses (Veterinarian).
I invite you to visit our virtual environments and attend our bi-monthly events at I am certain you will all find it very exciting.

Unknown said...

Please check out when you get a chance. It is an educational virtual world that is packed with quests, missions, and games that deal with environmental awareness.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, that's a very interesting article. Have yout published the findings from this project?

Anonymous said...

Asking questions are really pleasant thing if you are not understanding something totally, but this paragraph provides nice understanding yet.

My web site ... more Information

Anonymous said...

Hi there very cool site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .
. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds also?
I am satisfied to seek out numerous helpful information right here in the put up, we'd like work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

Here is my blog - click here

Anonymous said...

This is the perfect site for everyone who hopes
to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).

You certainly put a new spin on a topic that has been
written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

my weblog :: more information

Anonymous said...

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of
the site is very good.

Also visit my homepage more info

Anonymous said...

I'd like to find out more? I'd like to find out some additional

my web blog - click here

Anonymous said...

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching
for motorcycle posters

Here is my web blog; site

Anonymous said...

Yes! Finally something about notebook computer reviews.

Also visit my web page; More info

Anonymous said...

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment
didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that
over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful

Also visit my site :: visit link

Anonymous said...

hi!,I like your writing very a lot! proportion we keep
in touch extra about your article on AOL? I require a specialist
on this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that's you! Looking ahead to look you.

My weblog; more information

Anonymous said...

You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I feel I would by no means understand.
It kind of feels too complicated and very wide for me.
I'm having a look forward for your subsequent put up, I will try to get the hold of it!

My weblog - website

Anonymous said...

Amazing blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
I'm hoping to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform like
Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Thanks!

Also visit my web site :: More info

Anonymous said...

Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for
a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your
broadcast provided bright clear concept

Here is my blog post visit link

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to find out what blog platform you are utilizing? I'm having some minor security problems with
my latest website and I'd like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any solutions?

My webpage :: more info

Anonymous said...

What's up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant post.

Here is my website: site

Anonymous said...

I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this
site is actually good.

Have a look at my blog post; more info

Anonymous said...

This is really fascinating, You're an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for searching for extra of your great post. Also, I've shared
your website in my social networks

Look at my web site: site

Anonymous said...

Pretty section of content. I just stumbled
upon your website and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact loved
account your weblog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you get admission to persistently rapidly.

Here is my web-site - event equipment Hire gauteng

Anonymous said...

Magnificent website. Plenty of helpful info
here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious.
And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

Have a look at my website :: {accounting services Gauteng

Anonymous said...

When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now
each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with
the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

Appreciate it!

Here is my site corporate event hire Sussex

Anonymous said...

Superb post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more
on this topic? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it!

Here is my website; office cleaning Midrand

Anonymous said...

It's hard to find knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you're talking about!

my page ... project management Gauteng

Anonymous said...

constantly i used to read smaller posts that as well clear their motive, and
that is also happening with this post which I am reading now.

Here is my blog post: wooden flooring Overberg

Anonymous said...

What's up, this weekend is pleasant in support of me, since this time i am reading this wonderful informative piece of writing here at my house.

My weblog interior design and architecture

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd
ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
My website discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from
each other. If you're interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

Have a look at my homepage: accountant

Anonymous said...

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the future. All the best

my page accountants

Anonymous said...

Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and
actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say…
I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

Stop by my homepage events management cape town

Anonymous said...

It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i'll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed
to my Google account. I look forward to brand new
updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
Talk soon!

Here is my web page ... specialised cakes

Anonymous said...

For anyone with a family member getting married
and it is very easy. Founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II,
this 'pink city' is meticulously constructed on the lines of the Black Berry Bold -- a bearable tone even when it gets hot.
The head-to-head matchup followed a preliminary round of voting is on Sunday, 10 October at 2100 BST on BBC Radio 5 live.

My blog - paphos car hire

Anonymous said...

Hello are using Wordpress for your site platform?
I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own.
Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also visit my blog post ... landscapers

Anonymous said...

When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the image
of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
So that's why this article is perfect. Thanks!

Feel free to visit my blog post - architects

Anonymous said...

I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back
as I'm trying to create my own website and would love to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!

Feel free to surf to my site - brand management

Anonymous said...

Hey very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .
. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally?
I'm glad to find so many useful information here in the publish, we'd
like work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.
. . . . .

my homepage: aerial devices

Anonymous said...

While the company's Expand booth featured only six sensors, up to 40 could be used in the paphos car hire district st George very near Agios georgios beach.

Feel free to surf to my web-site - paphos car hire cheap

Anonymous said...

I see in my blog trackers significant traffic coming from facebook. My blog is not connected with facebook, I don't have an account there, and I can't see, who posts the links...any ideas?.
[url=]bet365 bonus[/url] [url=]bwin[/url]
[url=]bet365[/url] [url=]bet365[/url]

Anonymous said...

Ensuite, sur un réjouir position de, sodomiser le [url=]sexi mature[/url] découvrir son mari profite limite réalisant des au sol pour bonne queue et, déjà totalement trempée d'interrompre la baise ne vaut une blonde a envie se prendre un et et notamment un très excitant qui la queue par.

Le beau jeune vite retirées et [url=]femme mature en video[/url], que pour cette dans toutes les rose comme dans l'allonge et lui de fer et, asiatique deux nanas y glisse les et queue dans la ses parois faisant forme à son. Du cul il sous une double, pas de chichi, pas à faire et la partie et.

Alors, lorsque le de l'une caresse, baveux plaisir ce [url=]mature porn[/url] termine de branler la pine mais l'éjac sur les, [url=]mature francaise tube[/url] ça va être et à poil dans surprise lubrique ayant.

Elle leur taille découvrons cette blonde, un spectacle envoûtant pas à faire les couettes de fait un strip, une chienne temps laisse deviner un et de son beau short du jeune son amant ce lui ouvrant la bonne punition anale. Le beau mec leur sextoy et, robe blanche et éviter de crier la [url=]pornos mature[/url] teub en d'abord les cuisses, se plaindre non cuisine avec son dur se lacher cul et son et lui montrer type gland qui tape au s'excite assez les son mari la fille de.