Media education Reflexions

Software as toys

lego-wheelchairWhile until recently we were in a universe of playing systems like wooden blocks, Legos , Playmobil or Fisher Prize constructions, today we usually find ourselves in front of a framed, 2 dimensional screen environment which includes numerous other worlds, smaller systems of manipulation and 3 dimensional possibilities. Viewing size changes, affecting experience, varying from a Sony PSV, or Nintendo small screen to tablets, computers or big TV screens which connect to various sources like Internet or Sony Play station network. However, content is king from what we learn from young users and size little affects. Eye contact to the screen and mouse or touch screen interaction is a crucial engagement.

Few children take full advantage of Lego flexibility anyway, as they similarly do not take full advantage of computer possibilities. The Playmobil worlds are endless and kids tend to recreate more versions disregarding setting and costumes. Possibly, this unbeatable attraction of the games, could be treated in multiple ways, informed by the long, destructive, regenerating relationship of children to toys. So, within this turbulent waves of games and software, we could point out applications which seem to have inherent qualities for developing image sensitivity, critical thinking, literacy and storytelling. In relation to the young ones’ visual culture it is a good opportunity to recognise what certain apps and software, can be used for developing these visual multi- literacies and young people’s ability to make cognitive connections. This is one of my new projects and I shall be presenting soon such apps.