- Series: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning
- Hardcover: 248 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (September 25, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262013355
- ISBN-13: 978-0262013352
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,000,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children's Software (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)
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Engineering Play offers a much-needed historical view on the emerging field and industry of games for learning. In it, Ito achieves a rare balance between rich ethnographic detail of the microdynamics of learning through gameplay, and penetrative insight into the macrodynamics of the various (and contesting) social discourses and institutions at play around technology and childhood. It is a much needed and very timely contribution to the field. Highly recommended reading for anyone who is serious about interactive technologies.(Constance Steinkuehler, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Mimi Ito's Engineering Play explicates the crucial―and until now little discussed―historical, institutional, and cultural contexts for the now pervasive controversies over video games and learning in and out of school. The book is essential reading and a major contribution.(James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University)
About the Author
Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist who studies new media use, particularly among young people, in Japan and the United States, and a Professor in Residence at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Top customer reviews
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The book doesn't just look at how kids play these games, though. It also examines, for instance, how the marketing of some of these games mobilized middle-class parental anxieties about achievement, or how the entrepreneurs who started educational game companies soon found themselves to be victims of their own success. Or how the entrenched agendas of educational institutions can sometimes work against learning instead of fostering it.
The only thing I didn't like about the book is that because it's written for researchers, it can be a bit jargony at times. For instance, the first 20 pages or so are dedicated to explaining research methodology and what makes it different from other books in the field, which I wasn't terribly concerned with.
Ultimately, though, this book was a pleasure to read, and was complex enough to warrant multiple readings. What's covered in here would probably be useful for parents, educators, game developers, entrepreneurs, cultural anthropologists, marketers, and anyone who, like me, once played these games as a kid.