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Play, Creativity and Popular Culture


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  • 1. Play, creativity and popular culture Jackie Marsh university of sheffield, ukTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 2. Play? eppe concludes that in the most effective centres ‘play’ environments were used to provide the basis of instructive learning. The most effective pedagogy is both ‘teaching’ and providing freely chosen yet potentially instructive play activities.! ! ! ! ! (EPPE, 2003, p5)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 3. Hong kong guide to the pre-primary curriculum, 2006 Teachers should guide children to pay attention to characters/ words, especially their structure, that appear in their surrounding environment. They may design a variety of play activities that deal with the structure of characters/words, such as strokes or components, to promote children’s writing skills.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 4. The rhetoric of play as the imaginary is... ‘characterized as an attitude of mind that glorifies freedom, originality, genius, the arts, and the innocent and uncorrupted character of the childhood vision’. (Sutton smith, 1997:129).Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 5. Creativity? ‘imaginative processes with outcomes that are original and of value’ (Robinson 2001:118)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 6. popular culture? Perhaps part of our difficulty in using the paradigm of elite/popular/mass/ folk culture is that we have to tinker with it every time we use it – we define and redefine these four pigeon-holes so that we can sort things out to suit ourselves…I do suggest that we consider a new paradigm by which we first view all culture as one expression of a given society’s leisure needs and opportunities, and then distinguish degrees of popularity along two axes: synchronic and diachronic. (Lally, 1980:205)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 8. Children’s use of virtual worlds children’s playground games and rhymes in the new media ageTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 9. commercialised virtual worlds barbie girls...moshi monsters...webkinz .....Club penguinTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 10. Over 200 virtual worlds exist or are in development for under 18s...Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 15. Text Text Text TextTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 16. Genres of play Fantasy play Games with rules ‘Rough and tumble’ play Socio-dramatic playTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 17. Emily entered an igloo to face three avatars that were running around. The users were using the chat facility to signal their footballing moves: Avatar 1: Misses Avatar 2: U better Avatar 1: Takes shoot Avatar 3: Whacks round hed Avatar 1: Heart stops Avatar 2: Hands up Avatar 3: Good Emily’s avatar: How did you turn on your TV? Avatar 1: Falls Avatar 1: Waaaaaaaaa Avatar 2: Catches Avatar 3: I weavingTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 19. Steinkuehler (2005:12) noted that ‘In-game social groups devise rituals and performances…and generate in-game antics and adventures’ which develop social communities of practice.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 20. Owen: I go on YouTube sometimes and they have like little presentations’s funny because it’s like the funniest clips of Club Penguin and stuff and they fall and stuff. Stacey: You can type ‘Club Penguin’ and it comes up and there’ll be like and there’s music in the background and it can show you slideshows.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 23. play/ creativity/ popular culture • majority of these CPMV / machinima developed at home • children produce for other children, sometimes with dedicated fan bases • children search youtube for child-produced texts • music central to peer-to-peer cultural practices but often integrated with other mediaTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 24. • Reading skills and strategies including: word recognition (e.g. the vocabulary choices in ‘safe chat’ mode; instructions; in-world environmental text), comprehension, scanning text in order to retrieve appropriate information, familiarity with how different texts are structured and organised, understanding of authors’ viewpoint, purposes and overall effect of the text on the reader • Writing/ authoring skills and strategies including: using language for particular effect; writing/ authoring for known and unknown audiencesTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 25. • Understanding of the affordances of different modes • Ability to understand salience of visual images and icons • Ability to manipulate images to achieve specific purposes • Ability to navigate within and across screens • Use gesture/ sound appropriately for purpose and audienceTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 28. Lauwaert (2009:12) suggests that the ‘geography of play is the sum of core and peripheral play practices and consists of both physical and digital elements, of tactile and non-tactile components,of objects and connections’.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 29. Commercial practices related to the use of Club Penguin across online/ offline domains •Playing games in the virtual world which earns coins •Looking through catalogues/ buying items in the shops located in the virtual world •Buying food for pets (puffles) which appears when the puffles are clicked on •Reviewing purchases in avatars’ inventories •Using online cheats to gain coins •Selling unwanted Club Penguin items on eBay •Buying toys/ games / collectors cards offline that unlock coins in the virtual world •Swaps e.g. sending information or artefacts to other users who then send codes to unlock items in the virtual worldTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 30. Possessions are ‘... cultural proxies for belonging...’ (Pugh, 2009: 57)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 31. farmville - 26 million players dailyTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 32. Yes No % of 5 - 11 year olds who had used Facebook (n = 157) 43% 57%Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 33. Yes No % of 5 - 8 year olds who had used Facebook (n =73) 47% 53%Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 34. Yes No % of 5 - 11 year olds who had their own Facebook/ MySpace page 33% (n = 168) 67%Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 35. Yes No % of 5 - 8 year olds who had their own Facebook/ myspace page 30% (n =77) 70%Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 36. jackie:! OK. So when you go on it, what are the things that you do when you go on it? kate:!You can play games, like there’s lots of stuff to do like pets and stuff, there’s a game called Happy Pets, Pet Society, Petville, and then there’s something called Cityville, like you can make your own city, and there’s Farmville. jackie:! And do you play on all of those games? kate:!Yeah. jackie:! Do you send people messages? kate:!Yeah. jackie:! And what sort of messages do you send? kate:!We just say “hiya” and we start like a normal conversation as if we were talking to each other.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 37. attraction of facebook for young children • they are embedding themselves in a family practice - similar to watching TV programmes together • enables them to continue practices first encountered in other applications, such as microsoft messenger • enables participation in games which have similar features to their other uses of the internet e.g. virtual worlds (Farmville) • Part of community practiceTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 39. Class 2 Offline Online I (G) A (B) O (G) R (B) J (B) N (G) B (G) M (B) J (B) G (G) L (B) C (B) G (G) J (B) B (B) T (B) B (B) J (B) B (B) H (B) L (G) L (G) C (B) T (B) A (G) K (B) K (B)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 40. online/ offline friendships • 68% of children had online friends in their class. • Children who played online had a wider group of children they played with in their class than children who just played offline. • Boys who played online had twice as many girls as friends (average 4.6) as boys who only played offline (average 2.3). • Girls who played online had almost twice as many boys as friends (average 7.1) than girls who only played offline (3.6).Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 41. Carl, age 7 jackie:! Right OK. So when you choose children to play with online what makes you choose them? carl:! Because they’re nice friends and I think they would love to play with me lots of time. jackie:! And when you play with children in the playground what makes you choose them? carl:! like them people but if they’re online I think they I would say bad words and that means they would get banned from it. jackie:! Who is that, who would do that? carl:!Someone like casey because he’s naughty... And if they’re going to say something like “I don’t like you”, and like Casey, when I’ve gone to his house, my nan-nan lives next door to him and I go to her house every night, Casey swears when we go round to play football, and that’s why I didn’t ask him to my accounts.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 42. play, creativity and popular culture in homes and community •popular culture strong aspect of children’s play from birth •Popular culture integral to individual identity construction and performance and construction of social networks •Children producers and consumers of popular cultural texts Aimed at peer audience •Boundary between online/ offline play becoming less distinctTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 43. play, creativity and popular culture in the playgroundTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 44. PRETEND PLAY AND THE MEDIA • Films: Star Wars; Princesses Bratz; Disney Princesses; Batman; Bratz the Movie; James Bond; Avatar • Computer games: Pokemon; Formula 1 Racing; Transformers; Mario Brothers; Halo 3; Dungeons and Dragons; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 • Online games: Club Penguin; Moshi Monsters; Runescape • TV shows: Ben 10; Simpsons; Hannah Montana; High School Musical; Doctor Who; Britain’s Got Talent; X-Factor; Guilty; The Jeremy Kyle ShowTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 45. PLAY, CREATIVITY AND POPULAR CULTURE IN THE PLAYGROUND • Children draw from their everyday ‘mediascapes’ (Appadurai, 1990) in their playground play • Multimodal communication central to these practices • Children draw from multi-generational (and child/ adult specific) material • The concerns of adults are examined, explored, parodied, challenged • This play is related to identity construction and performanceTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 47. Identity/consumption/ production/ representation: GenderTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 49. TextTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 51. The effect of gender is produced through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and styles of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self...[it] requires a conception of gender as a constituted social temporality... a constructed identity, a performative accomplishment which the mundane social audience, including the actors themselves, come to believe and to perform in the mode of belief. (Butler, 1993: 140-1)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 52. Identity/consumption/ production/ representation: Social classTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 53. • Wide range of types, from Oprah to The Jerry Springer Show (so-called ‘trash TV’/ class pantomime/ cruelty verite) • Subject matter includes sexual infidelity, criminal misdemeanours, drug addiction, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. • Use of lie detector tests and DNA tests on children in order to attempt to present a ‘true’ picture of a specific situation, and the participants are confronted with the outcomes of these tests on the show.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 54. The working-class appear to display and dramatise themselves as inadequate, in need of self- investment. They are shown to have not just deficit culture, but also deficit subjectivity. ‘Reality’ television points to solutions, ways to resolve this lack, this inadequate personhood through future person- production – a projected investment in self-transformation – in which participants resolve to work on themselves and their relationships to make up losses. (Skeggs, 2009:638)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 56. generic conventions • introduction to problem • accusatory stance of presenter • aggressive interrogation • animosity between participants • involvement of audience • use of drugs test/ lie detector test • moral stance reinforced at endTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 58. Play is a deconstruction of the world in which [children] live. If the world is a text, the play is a reader’s response to that text. There are endless possible reader responses to the orthodox text of growing up in childhood (Sutton-Smith,1997, p.166)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 59. …when you was acting out you could actually feel it. When you got into character properly it made you feel like it did happen to you and it made you realise what it’s like. When you were looking at the other people and you could see how devastated they were and stuff like that, because it was acting, it could make you feel like you was in that position as like a kid who that had happened to… Yeah... there’s somebody in the audience Joe’s uncle called Kate, her best mate’s sister is 16 and she’s pregnant.Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 60. When people play together as they make meaning they can co-author possible selves and possible ethical identities… when children are answerable for their imagined actions they are forming their ethical identities. (Edmiston, 2007, p. 22).Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 61. ‘Reality’ television offers the pleasure of watching the unexpected. And it is in this affective seepage that moments stand out against the attempts to universalise the particular, to place, contain and devalue working-class people and culture, where attempts to make the middle-class particular universal and normative are ruptured. This may be only temporary, but at least it is something, a start. (Skeggs 2009:640)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 62. Play, creativity and popular culture in the playground By virtue of its near-ubiquitous presence, popular culture provides a common ground and a set of systematic differences through which consumers can, as textualised agents, define aspects of their cultural identities. (Hills, 2005:140-1)Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 64. implications for the curriculumTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 65. implications for the curriculum: playful pedagogies • Begin with principles of play i.e. time for exploration, imaginative play before/ alongside/ following instruction - instruction need not always be aligned with play • enable the curriculum to reflect elements of play - time, space, recursive practices, cross- age group and intergenerational practices • enable practices to challenge binaries e.g. classroom/ out-of-classroom; online/ offline; popular/ ‘high’ culture; academic/ non- academic discoursesTuesday, 6 December 2011
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  • 68. Play creativity Popular cultureTuesday, 6 December 2011
  • 69. “There might as well be no colour if you can’t play!” Child in 2009 British Playday Study (Kapasi and Gleave, 2009: 9)Tuesday, 6 December 2011