Chapter

Community Building as Contribution

Marina Umaschi Bers

in Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199757022
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933037 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757022.003.0011
Community Building as Contribution

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This chapter taps into the civic dimension opened by new technologies that promote community building. From video games to virtual worlds, research has shown that several technologies engage young people to become contributors to their communities both globally and locally. This chapter explores how educators can take advantage of children and teen’s increased time spent with technology by providing a digital landscape designed with community building in mind. Video games and Virtual Worlds can encourage young people to tackle simulations of civic struggles, preparing them for an actively engaged adulthood. Children can experiment with different strategies freely, seeing how their contributions affect the digital community as a whole and how this might extend to the community that extends beyond the digital world, knowing that they can make a difference.

Keywords: Community; contribution; civic engagement; video games; Virtual Worlds; “serious” games; participatory democracy; neighbourhood

Chapter.  3818 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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