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Surveying video game use in the “Periphery”

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The paper outlines some of the aspects of living in the periphery (the north and west edge of Europe). It describes responses, especially those given by the children and their parents, to a survey on ...

The paper outlines some of the aspects of living in the periphery (the north and west edge of Europe). It describes responses, especially those given by the children and their parents, to a survey on video gaming and other digital media use. The paper concludes with a more detailed analysis, and descriptions of areas of future research.

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    Surveying video game use in the “Periphery” Surveying video game use in the “Periphery” Presentation Transcript

    • Surveying video game use in the “Periphery” Abstract The ongoing research introduced in this paper aims ultimately to answer the question: “Is video gameplay and digital media use in metropolises such as London, New York and Los Angeles significantly different from that of remote, dispersed and fragmented communities such as the Lofoten, Åland and Shetland Islands?” To provide useful data for analysis, video game players in one such community (the island of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland), were interviewed. Most of the active game players were schoolchildren; due to the mass of data, and the potential for comparison with national and international surveys, this paper focuses mostly on this subset of the Berneray video game playing community. The paper outlines some of the aspects of living in the Periphery, and then describes the survey and the responses, especially those given by the children and their parents. The paper concludes with a more detailed analysis, and descriptions of areas of future research. Berneray and the “Periphery” Berneray [1] is an Outer Hebridean [2] island off the west coast of Scotland with a permanent resident population of 130. The main industries are fishing, crofting (small-scale farming) and tourism; the first language of most people is Gaelic. The weather alternates between periods of much daylight and often good weather (April to October), and spells of little daylight and often continuous bad weather (November to March). By UK standards, house prices are low, as are levels of traffic, crime and pollution; most people have a comfortable lifestyle with utilities (fuel, water, power, and communications) comparable to those of mainland UK residents. There is currently one shop on Berneray, though that is expected to close later this year. The nearest major city is either a day’s ferry-and-drive, or an hour’s flight from an airport 30 miles away. The Outer Hebrides themselves are an archipelago 140 miles in length, but with a total population of only 26,000. Of these, a third live in one town (Stornoway), while the rest are distributed across small and tiny communities. These islands have historical, social and economic distinctions from mainland Scotland. For example, a large component of the ancestral and genetic construct is shared with Scandinavia due to the islands being under Viking control for several centuries. This is still evidenced in several ways, such as localised accents (especially in Lewis) being similar to those of coastal Norway, and many of the place names being obviously Norse. The name “Berneray” itself is similar to “Bjørnøya” [3], the Norwegian island in the Arctic ocean. Hebridean islands such as Berneray have many socio-economic similarities to rural and island communities across the “Northern Periphery” [4], an area of islands and larger land masses bordered by the Scottish Hebrides, Greenland, Svalbard and Finland. In Norway [5], Sweden and Denmark, 60% of people live in settlements of 40,000 inhabitants or less. These countries have numerous populated islands of varying sizes, fragmenting the population further, and are also characterised by low average population densities; in the ranking of 231 countries [6], Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Greenland are all in the bottom (least dense) 20%.
    • However, populations in northern America and industrialised Western Europe tend more towards urban, metropolitan areas. For example, in the UK, most people live in cities with populations exceeding 100,000 [7]. The number of published surveys of digital culture and gameplay use is not large [8], with fewer still focusing on children, and most are from these highly populated countries [9] [10] [11], with samplings usually taken from large city populations. Therefore, these studies may not be comparable to, or representative of, the nature of game use and digital culture in regions of the Periphery. The island of Berneray (discussed below) is a case in point; nearly every schoolchild owns at least one platform from the current or previous gaming console generation. Arguably, there are potentially many gameplayers in rural, isolated communities within the Periphery, but are their gameplaying habits and surrounding digital media culture different from those of gameplayers in urban, westernised communities? Data collection and initial analysis In November and December 2006, residents of Berneray identified as video game players were interviewed about their gameplay and use of other digital entertainment media e.g. Ipods, DVDs, online chat and social networking. The survey began to address three themes or questions: 1. Is engagement in digital entertainment media, including the playing of video games, greater or less on Berneray than in mainland UK? 2. Do environmental factors specific to the Outer Hebrides, such as the long dark winters, inclement weather or lack of outdoor facilities affect how much time is spent playing video games? 3. Do socio-economic factors, such as the small and sparse population or the average household income, affect access to video games? A mixture of qualitative and quantitative data was obtained from each game player. Child interviewees’ parents were also interviewed to provide validatory data on factors such as gameplay and Internet access, and funding of consoles. Game players were interviewed individually, the questions falling into four categories based on a recent Finnish study [12] on the social significance of games: 1. Consumption of time in games 2. Investment of money in games 3. Attitudes surrounding games and playing 4. The actual practices (especially other digital media) around games in people’s lives. Some residents were interviewed a second time, after Christmas 2006, as they had received consoles as Christmas presents and therefore their gameplay behaviour had changed. In addition, some residents were also re-interviewed with follow-up questions, as the survey revealed aspects of digital entertainment culture not considered during the initial questionnaire design. Interviewees
    • Residents who played video games fell into three categories: 1. 12 children under the age of 18 who played video games on a regular or frequent basis. 2. 5 resident adults who played video games on a regular or frequent basis. 3. 5 resident adults who played video games infrequently i.e. less than once a week, and often for over a month at a time with no gameplay. Of the remaining 108 permanent residents, there may well be others who play video games, on either a console or a PC. These would include people who were not aware of the survey, and those who did not wish to admit to playing games or participate in the study. The decision was taken early on to focus primarily on the children game players. This was because: • There is more comparable data and surveys for child video game players worldwide than there are for adult video game players. • It was evident that most of the children were video game players, whereas most of the adults were not. This could lead to additional information from the former set on aspects of multi-person gameplay • While the concept of Digital Natives (where younger people are all digital-aware but older people have no digital use) has recently been widely criticised, it is likely that younger people would have a more diverse array of digital activities than older people. Children game players Demographics The demographics of the Outer Hebrides and especially those of younger residents are discussed frequently in the region. This is because of the perceived fragility of the population in terms of island “immigration and emigration”, falling school rolls and long-term population trends within the various islands. On Berneray, as with other islands of the Outer Hebrides, this situation is of some concern. This chart, at the time of this research, shows the age distribution of permanent resident children:
    • As can be seen, most of the schoolchildren are within a few years of leaving secondary school, with far fewer locally “coming through” to take their place. The 12 schoolchildren surveyed were in the age range 9 to 16 as in the graph above; one of the 14 year olds, and those below the age of 9, did not play video games and were therefore not questioned. The 18 year old was classified as an adult for the purpose of this research. Gameplay time The 12 children claimed an average of 5.5 hours a week spent playing video games, with a maximum of 14 hours and a minimum of 1. Girls claimed an average of 2.5 hours per week, and boys 7 hours. However, there is some doubt as to the 3 highest values given by the boys (2, 2, 3, 6, 6, 11, 12, 14), as these seem at odds with the wide array of time-consuming non-gaming activities undertaken by these respondents. Two of the three parents involved also expressed surprise at these figures. The children's responses have to be treated with some caution as “teenage bravado” may have influenced some of their answers. Console hardware The 12 respondents have previously owned 35 games consoles and platforms between them. Currently, those respondents own 27 consoles (or PCs with gaming potential) between them. However, in five cases there is sibling cooperation in the acquisition and use of games hardware, so some of these 35 are “double counts”. There is no predominant non-PC games console; the PS2 is owned or joint-owned by 5 of the respondents, with the Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS1, DS, PSP and GameCube also being mentioned as current consoles.
    • Aspirations as to the next games console were split. 4 respondents did not aspire to a new games console, whereas 3 desired a PS3, 3 a Wii and 2 an Xbox 360. Console software There was no consensus as to the favourite genre of games played by the children. First person shooter, platform, sports, action and simulation games were mentioned several times. One girl preferred equestrian simulations, and declared that: “Anything without horses [in it] is boring.” In fact, defining the genres of games that were disliked was found to be easier than defining those that were liked, especially by teenage boys. For example, from one such interviewee: [Disparaging tone] “This game is so gay.” Similarly, there was no individual game favoured by many of the 12. Football manager, Saints Row and Gears of War were mentioned several times. Multiplayer participation None of the 12 played console games online against other people. Some (4) played PC games online, though these were all single-player games. Interviewees were asked whether they tended to play multiplayer (offline) games against family members in the same household, relatives (different households), schoolmates or other local people. Two of the 12 did not play games against other people; the other 10 played games predominantly against their siblings and their schoolmates who live on the island (see also “Survey deficiencies”). Parental involvement All of the parents of the 12 said that they never played video games either with their children, or on their own. However, anecdotal evidence points to 4 of these (at least occasionally) playing video games. Two quotes: Parent: “I have never played a video game. Apart from Banjo Kazooie. And a racing game.” Son: “And the rest…” …and: Parent [speaking emphatically]: “No, I have never played a game.” Daughter: “What about when you played Brain Training all day?” Parental involvement was most evident in games purchase. Most games were purchased online, with the assistance of parents;, with Amazon, Game and Play.com mentioned most frequently. Trips to the mainland were the other method of games purchase. Parental games monitoring Parental monitoring of which games were purchased differed. Most parents did not conduct their own independent research. In these cases there was a high degree of family trust, with
    • the eventual child player being the sole source of feedback on whether a potential game purchase was suitable. However, when purchasing a game in a shop, 5 of the 7 parents who expressed an opinion said they scrutinised the game in some way before purchase. Of the 12 children, 8 had a parent or parents who monitored the games played by their children in a variety of ways. For example: “I wait until he goes to school, then I go in his room to see what he’s been playing.” “I check what is on the screen when passing.” “The games console stays in this room, where I can hear what is going on.” The situation concerning age-rated games drew different parental responses. Some parents repeated that they scrutinised games during shop purchases. Other responses included: “I attempted to ban a game once, then found they went round to someone else’s house to play their copy.” “No. They tend to regulate themselves.” “Depends. Sometimes I do; some games [son] is not allowed to play.” A question asking parents if they restricted the time their child(ren) spend playing games elicited the most defensive responses. This was the one issue in the interview sessions that (twice) caused some friction between the interviewer and parents. Possibly, it was seen by some as a strong reflection of parental responsibility, or as an implied critique of their child’s ability to self-regulate and self-organise their time. Four parents stated that they did not need to restrict the time their child or children spent playing games, as their children were responsible in this area. For example: “No, as she knows she has to do her homework first. She is not addicted to games [I had not suggested she was, or used the word “addicted”], and spends less time playing them now than when she was younger.” “He regulates his gameplay himself.” “He does his homework first.” Of the others, the parents of 3 children said simply no, while the others placed varying restrictions on gameplay time. For example: “I don’t need to at the moment, but would have no problem in kicking them out the house on a sunny day if they were playing games.” Non-game time allocation All children interviewed had an array of other digital equipment. The responses of the 12 were: • Primary/own PC/Mac: 12 • Own TV: 10 • Own DVD: 9 • Mobile phone: 9 • Digital camera: 7 • Ipod/MP3 player: 6 A number of questions related to their use of the Internet were asked. All used the Internet at home and at school; at the time of the survey, 10 of the 12 had broadband access at home (at the time of writing this paper, all 12 do). From these questions it was surmised that:
    • • 8 downloaded online music • 9 used chat/messenger programmes • 9 used one particular social networking website Five questions were asked to gain some concept of the overall use of time, and the context of gameplay within a normal day. As a warm-up and calibration question, the children were asked how much time they spent travelling to and from school every day. As there are only two schools, this answer was already known by the interviewer. Fairly accurate answers were given by all. However, when asked the amount of time spent doing homework per week on average, this caused confusion and illogical responses. These ranged from 30 minutes per week to 1 hour per day. There was no indication of whether time spent on homework differed according to either age or gender. The 12 children were asked how much more they would play games when it’s dark e.g. during winter, or a prolonged spell of bad weather. Of the 12, two said they would play a bit more while the other 10 would play “a lot” or “loads” more. 3 children independently ventured that they would play games for several hours more when the weather was very bad. However, when reminded of the other digital media they have access to at home, 2 of the 3 changed their minds and said they may do other things: “I’d chat to everyone [meaning schoolmates] on [chat program].” “I’d [social network] for a while.” The 12 children were asked what they would do with their spare time if they suddenly couldn’t play video games. The point of this question was to find out, in a more spontaneous manner, their favourite non-gaming activity. Responses were varied, and contained a mixture of digital and non-digital entertainment: • Listen to music • Go online or watch TV • Go horse riding/look at a horse • Make Airfix models • Play football • Help out with the sheep • Use a social networking site (several responses) • Draw pictures and write stories on the computer • Go out • Watch DVDs It is noticeable that most of these activities are, or were meant, in a social multi-person context e.g. play football, go horse riding (with someone else). The final question concerned the “cultural activities” undertaken by each child, such as organised sports, music, after-school clubs and societies. The average was 3.2 different types of activities per week; repeat mentions were made of: • Youth club • Sports nights in the community hall • Football training • Horse riding • Sunday school
    • • Music practice (guitar, bagpipes, accordion, keyboard, piano, clarinet, clarsach) • Running / athletics Adult game players Five adult residents who were regular or frequent game players were asked the same core set of questions as the child game players, but with questions concerning school-related issues, e.g. amount of time spent doing homework, removed. These interviews revealed the following: • Three had extensive console collections (14, 9 and 8 units) and had been players for at least several years or decades. • All 5 had irregular or erratic game playing habits, going through periods of significant gameplay, followed by periods taken up by other activities, e.g. work, involvement in social or community events, holidays. • All 5 had Internet access at home (4 on broadband, 1 on dial-up), which they used extensively. Two used the Internet for work, while a third to support work-based activities. All of the 5 had played PC games online but none had, until very recently, played online console-based games. • The 5 had small social game playing networks, playing against their neighbour / friend, partner or younger sibling. Many aspects of the social and working lives of the adults are very different from those of the children, resulting in game playing comparisons between the two groups being of limited use. With hindsight, and this is something that may be taken up at a future stage, it may have been better to have conducted interviews with all resident adults concerning their uses of digital technologies (including the Internet and video games). This would have resulted in a larger body of comparable data. The five infrequent adult video game players were not formally surveyed. This was mainly due to the reluctance of all five to discuss their gameplay experiences within a formal framework. Data capture issues Interview sessions All parents were asked permission first, with an explanation of what the study was for. It was made clear that: • the survey was not meant to be judgemental in any way • identities of respondents would not be revealed in the paper All interviews took place at the family home. Depending on domestic arrangements and social spaces, some interviews took place with parents in the same room (with varying levels of participation) and some without. Straight after the children were interviewed, their parent(s) were interviewed. This made some children anxious, and they would hover just out of sight to hear their parents’ responses.
    • Accuracy of responses The accuracy of some of the responses was debatable. Key factors in suspected inaccurate responses were: • Whether parents were able to hear the responses. • Boasting or exaggeration, most likely in teenage boys. Not surprisingly, responses (and the confidence of responses) to “How much time do you spend doing homework?” differed depending on whether a parent was present. Three children contributed the unprompted information that they did their homework on the school bus, but in these three cases their parents were not present during questioning. Parental concerns The questioning of parents frequently started open-ended debate on three issues: 1. Monitoring Internet use. Parents had different attitudes to their children’s use of the Internet. The most frequently mentioned concerns were the amount of time spent online, a reason also cited by several parents for obtaining broadband (so their children did not “hog” the phone line through extended dial-up sessions). 9 of the 12 child respondents lived in households with a sole communal PC shared by all family members. In these cases, parents tended to check the “website history” for use, though some were aware that their children could and were getting around this by wiping the history index at the end of an online session. 2. Use of social networking websites, with one particular website being mentioned by all parents. Different parents employed different strategies for monitoring their child’s use of this particular site. 3. The amount of time spent indoors during pleasant weather days. Three parents expressed confidence at the varied range of activities their children participated in, e.g. “I’m always driving him to sports events such as football. He gets out a lot, though I end up being a personal taxi service.” …while several others commented on the all-day multi-modal communication between essentially the same group of people: “She gets up early in the morning, goes to school and talks to her schoolmates for an hour there on the bus. Then she sees them at school all day. Then she chats to them on the bus all the way home. Then she does her homework, then goes online and does all the computer chat to them again. Then goes to sleep and does it all again the next day.” While no parent seemed unduly concerned about this intense multi-modal pattern of communication, all who mentioned it seemed puzzled by its “all day” on-off nature.
    • Survey deficiencies Initially, just three surveys were undertaken as a pilot; analysis of these resulted in many of the questions being altered. However, there were still some deficiencies that became apparent during the main survey: 1. Questions carried an implied categorisation of gaming platforms into PC, Mac and consoles. With hindsight, this should have been widened or the questions made more open and inclusive. One respondent near the end of the survey mentioned that she played digital games on Sky TV, while another said he played games on his mobile phone. 2. Questions about digital equipment caused some confusion. For example, some people have a digital camera within their mobile phone, while DVDs can also be watched using a games console/TV combination. Though only 6 of the 12 children claimed ownership of an Ipod or MP3 player, most had access to one or more devices, e.g. PSP portable games console that could play music. 3. On the question of playing games against other people, asking interviewees to differentiate between relatives, schoolmates and other islanders caused confusion. This is because many people on Berneray are related, albeit through distant cousinhood or other complex shared ancestry. 4. It was impossible to retain any “element of surprise” when asking questions. An urban mainland survey could use a sample population who have no contact, and therefore the interviewees will not have heard the questions before, giving no time to rehearse an answer. However, here on Berneray, it became apparent after the first few interviews that the interviewees had been told of some of the questions they would be asked in advance. Further analysis The data, and issues arising from the survey, are considered further under the four headings suggested by [12]. Consumption of time in games The lack of multiplayer online gaming is probably most highly affected by the take-up of broadband. It is only since January of 2006 that some households have been able to obtain this service. Since that date, although all children interviewed now have broadband at home, installation of the service has been slow. It is difficult to anticipate how online gaming will affect the time spent playing games, especially as it will “compete” against the array of digital and non-digital activities already undertaken. As stated, the children who played video games spend an average of 5.5 hours a week (47 minutes a day) on this activity. However, when factoring in the children of capable age who don’t play video games, then this averages 4.4 hours per week or 37 minutes a day. Comparing this to national and international trends is difficult, due to the wildly conflicting figures produced in surveys and reports. For example, a neutral UK Department of Trade and Industry report claims that “children play computer games for an average of 45 minutes a day” [13], while another survey (used within an anti-games agenda) claims that children play such games for over an hour a day [14]. The more credible data by Beentjes [9] gives a UK average of 31 minutes per day and an EU average of 32 minutes.
    • A brief survey of 14 such studies that indicated some measure of rigorous methodology gave a spread of 30 minutes to 75 minutes as the average time, per day, that game playing children spend playing video games. There is one significant factor, not present or considered in national or international surveys, which has a significant local effect on how much time is available to play games: the trip to school. The primary school is a 45-minute bus ride away, while the secondary school is further. To quote one parent: “School travel is a major factor. Travel is 1 hour and 10 minutes there, and 1 hour and 15 minutes back. After homework, that doesn’t leave much time for anything else.” This means that a Berneray resident who is a pupil at secondary school spends over 12 hours a week in travel to and from school. The effects of this on their cumulative spare time are therefore significant. Investment of money in games The lack of part-time work, and regulations concerning children working, mean there are few opportunities for people to earn income before they leave school. Consequently, parents are often the main financial providers of both gaming hardware and software. The parents of all 12 children stated that they contributed financially. However, the survey indicated that at least 7 of those 12 also gained money by other means – which they spent on computer games - such as trading online, saving monies and obtaining monies from relatives. Several of the children, and some of the adults, regularly acquire the “latest” games consoles on their release; hence, there are several owners of PS2s, Wiis, Xbox 360s, DSs and PSPs on Berneray. At the time of writing this paper, shortly after the PS3 was launched, one was already owned and in use (for offline and online gaming) on the island. On the surface, this may be indicative of significant disposable income in some households. However, the fiscal skills and experience of both parents and children, combined with the widespread use of online shopping, means that costs of new hardware are often minimised or offset. For example, the brother [13-year-old male] of the owner of the PS3 stated that: “We sell our consoles at the right time online so we get the best price and can buy the next console.” As one parent observed: “If the kids from Berneray went on The Apprentice, with their money-making skills they would savage the opposing team and take over Alan Sugars company.” Attitudes surrounding games and playing It is an interesting aspect of the research that, although there are a wide variety of activities that the children could be doing – many of them optional - the frequency of playing video games does not seem to suffer. In Fromme’s survey [8] of 1,111 children, he reported that more than half of the boys (55.7%) and about 29% of the girls reported they played regularly, and about 40% of the boys and 51% of the girls said they played casually. Taking an average across the surveys gives a figure of approximately 70% of UK children playing computer or video games every week, though
    • significant methodological differences between these surveys result in a disappointing lack of consensus on national averages. On Berneray, the figures are slightly higher; the proportion of children who played video games infrequently to frequently was 80% (12 out of 15). Of course, when dealing with such small sample sizes, one subject playing or not playing can make a significant difference to overall scores; this and other aspects of small population sampling mean that comparisons to larger surveys should be treated cautiously. A more interesting aspect of Fromme’s survey concerned when children played video games: The “bad weather” reason was also a factor in the Berneray survey, with 10 of the 12 children stating that bad weather would make them play “a lot” or “loads” more. However, in the Periphery, it should be noted that “bad weather” can also include a lack of daylight. At the end of December, daylight is restricted to a few hours per day (often combined with bad weather), while in the middle of summer, there is still daylight near midnight (combined with good weather). Parental attitudes concerning game playing were generally relaxed, possibly as there was recognition that the children actively participated in a wider range of digital, non-digital and social activities. Practices around games in people’s lives The array of activities undertaken by the interviewees, as described previously, is quite diverse, consisting of a mixture of digital, non-digital, cultural and social activities. One social networking site in particular was mentioned repeatedly, by both the children and their parents. This would appear to be a primary means of both “online presence” and communication between nearly all the schoolchildren. Despite the survey being focused on gameplay, this particular site repeatedly came up in association with a number of questions, e.g. “What do you do when the weather is bad?” and “If you couldn’t play games, what would you do?” This particular activity was one about which the parents shared a common concern.
    • Digital culture also extended to methods of finding out information about games, such as which to purchase, or how to get past a particular problem in a game. As there are no bookshops, or shops selling magazines to browse through or purchase, such activities tend to be online. Eight of the 12 children said they went online to find help, cheats and walkthroughs. Quantifying the time spent on each activity in the programme of activities each child maintains would be a difficult undertaking, as the programme is so fragmented and complex. While some activities are fixed, e.g. a set time for sports in the hall and formal music lessons, others such as kicking a football around are not and are dependent on factors such as the weather and who else is available. In addition, each activity carries with it a variable amount of “dead time”, e.g. preparation and travel time. Future potential work The work undertaken so far has been preliminary rather than final in nature. Though unfunded, it has had the benefit of digging out some uncollected data and illuminating other areas of potentially useful research. Five of these areas, connected with the initial question asked in the abstract, are: 1. Other, more formal, surveys of gameplay and digital media usage in other areas of the Periphery (such as Lofoten, Åland and Shetland Islands) would help to validate this survey and provide more comparative data. Data from 22 people out of a resident population of 130 is not enough to provide a definitive answer to the question posed in the abstract. 2. How online gaming may affect the time spent on gameplay, and the nature of gameplay, is a question which the Periphery is well positioned to investigate. As remote areas are connected up to broadband, there are still opportunities for carrying out “before [broadband]” and “after [broadband]” surveys using the same people as subjects. 3. Family and social connections and networking are considerably different in Berneray than in a typical urban community. A much higher proportion of the population are related; smaller groups of people are in extended social proximity; logistics and services make it actively difficult to live socially separate from the populace. This affects all aspects of life, even online functionality, e.g. local people exchange information about good online shopping sites. Studies of aspects of this rural sociology and how they are affected by digital and online services are difficult to find. 4. Through anecdote and observation, and comments arising from this work, it has become gradually apparent that many adults on Berneray use the Internet for a very wide number of purposes, such as online shopping, banking, work, communication, travel planning and obtaining news and information. An island-wide formal survey of Internet use, with comparisons to the mainland, would be of interest to potential residents and service providers. 5. The use of “social networking websites” (part of the so-called Web 2.0 phenomenon) is ubiquitous among children, teenagers and, increasingly, adults residing in or with family connections in the Outer Hebrides. How and why the one particular website is used as a primary means of communication and “soft information” sharing is an unanswered question.
    • Acknowledgements My thanks to the 22 people who participated in the research. References [1] Isle of Berneray community website. http://www.isleofberneray.com/ [2] Rampant Scotland tourist information about the Outer Hebridean islands. http://www.rampantscotland.com/visit/blvisithebrides.htm [3] Wikipedia entry for the Norwegian island of Bjørnøya. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjørnøya [4] Map of the area covered by the 2000-2006 EU Northern Periphery programme. http://www.hie.co.uk/northern-periphery.htm - note; the countries within the “Northern Periphery” are not fixed and differ according to the program; some count northwest Russia, Northern Canada and/or Ireland amongst the periphery. [5] Statistics Norway population figures by settlement. http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/02/01/10/beftett_en/tab-2006-07-05-01-en.html [6] List of countries by population density. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_density [7] List of UK cities, towns and districts by population. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_cities%2C_towns_and_districts_by_popu lation [8] Fromme, J. (2003) Computer Games as a Part of Children’s Culture. Game Studies, vol. 3 (1). http://gamestudies.org/0301/fromme/ [9] Beentjes, J.W.J. et al (2001) Children's Use of Different Media: For How Long and Why? In S. Livingstone & M. Bovill (Eds.), Children and Their Changing Media Environment. A European Comparative Study. Mahwah, NJ & London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001. 85-111 [10] Marsh, J. et al (2005) Digital beginnings: Young children’s use of popular culture, media and new technologies. Literacy Research Centre, University of Sheffield. http://www.digitalbeginnings.shef.ac.uk/DigitalBeginningsReport.pdf [11] Valentine, G. and Pattie, C. (2005) Children and Young People's Home Use of ICT for Educational Purposes: The Impact on Attainment at Key Stages 1-4, DfES Research Report RR672. http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR672.pdf [12] Mäyrä, F. (2006), Welcome to Mapping the Global Game Cultures: Issues for a Socio- Cultural Study of Games and Players. Gaming Realities Conference, Athens, Greece. [13] Travis, A. (2001), Zap! Go to the top of the Class. Guardian online. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,462243,00.html [14] Are kids turning into Telly Tubbies? Trutex press release, 2005. http://www.trutex.com/press_releases/article.php?id=8