This is the free, Sunday edition of Culture Study — the newsletter from Anne Helen Petersen, which you can read about here. If you like it and want more like it in your inbox, consider subscribing. A few weeks ago, I interviewed Dr. Rachel Kowert about the new genre of alarmist rhetoric around kids’ pandemic gaming and screen time. You might not have kids, and you might not spend much time worrying about gaming. But you can still recognize that as a society, we often spend a lot of time worrying about how a cultural product is affecting a group of people — kids, teen girls, grown-ass women — and very little time actually talking to the people actually consuming it.
This was incredibly special—thank you. I read some of these responses to my partner, and we found them so moving (especially Doug’s cooking adventures in BotW, but most importantly how much kids value gaming with their family and friends). It’s really sad to think about kids having to grow up during the pandemic and feel stigma around a medium that allows to safe socializing. But it makes me incredibly happy to see how thoughtfully kids think about these issues.
I really enjoyed the kids explaining their gaming world. Oddly I found it emotionally moving. I don’t have children, I have nieces and nephews and they have kids.
This piece moved me in part because it made me accept that just like me, kids are dealing with isolation too, and probably with fewer tools.
It was loud and clear when a few of the kids rejoiced when they connected with family inside or because of the game.
Thank you for the topic.
I love this! My daughter is 7 and really into Minecraft, Roblox, Among Us, Super Mario, and Crash Bandicoot. She LOVES watching youtubers too, especially the Krew. She wants to go to Canada to meet them!
I do worry about how much time she spends on screens, and now school is about to start again for the year (we're in Australia) so I'll be a bit more strict. It's tough though because I do a lot of *my* socialising on screens! But we've agreed that it'll be screens down at 6pm for both of us so we can have dinner together and read our books. Obviously once she's in bed what she doesn't know won't hurt her 😂
Loved this so much! Genius to have the kids talk about their experiences in their own words. I forget how much my kids enjoy playing Among Us -- wish I would have thought of having a birthday party in there. AHP, you do your platform to bring so much good to the wider world. Thank you.
Thank you for the topic! I'm a scholar (often of games) who also does research along these lines. I interviewed kids on GTA play a while ago (for example) asking what they thought about depictions of race. Anyway, this is really great stuff & mirrors what I've seen with kids during pandemic. ty! https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1555412008317308
What, kids these days don't play Oregon Trail anymore?! Showing my age!