Posted: October 25th, 2004 | Author: benmccorkle | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off
From BoingBoing, here is a link to a research study conducted by the London School of Economics and Poli-Sci that suggests (among other things) that simply being on the internet encourages children to create media content for it:
Foe Romeo reports on fascinating research suggesting that the Internet turns kids into creators, not consumers, of media.
Even more interestingly, the study found that 17% of young people have sent pictures or stories to a website and “online creativity can be encouraged through the very experience of using the internet.” That is, the more time kids spend online, the more likely they are to produce their own content. And interaction breeds interaction. Does that mean we can safely assume that as internet usage increases its media timeshare, more and more people will become creative producers as well as consumers?
And does online game play in particular have any connection to this increased propensity to create? Nathan Combs recently suggested in his Socially Charged Software post that multiplayer games have a “MODder dimension”, where “content is more than just accumulated and integrated, it is the product of collaboration and a shared value system of production: from inspiration through validation.” (See Habbo Hotel’s fan sites, for example.)
I am reminded of my undergraduate days, when I was involved with a group of professors and student writers that argued for publication (in the form of a departmental magazine) as a means of eliciting motivated student writing. Although the Choice Voice experiment was initially print-based, the similarity remains. Artificial writing scenarios (essay prompts) are doomed to fail because they are artificial and frequently do not engage a student’s interests; when students have access to the means of production and less constraints on that production, they want to produce (duh!). Now, the $64,000 question: how do you harness that power? And another: are we qualified to evaluate it?