Children’s experiences of play in digital spaces: A scoping review

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 9;17(8):e0272630. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272630. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has substantiated play for play’s sake, thus focusing on the doing or being of play rather than any potentially desired outcomes. Examining this type of play from the perspective of the child acknowledges children as meaning-makers. A scoping review was conducted to expose and map the extent of the evidence available in the emerging and diverse field of children’s experiences of play in digital spaces. Specifically, the literature was examined with regards to relevance to children’s everyday lives, the personal and ecological relevance, and the methods used. A systematic search of the literature over the past fifteen years found thirty-one articles appropriate for inclusion. The analysis of the literature revealed that the articles formed four categories of how play in digital spaces was approached: ‘Videogames, behaviours, and societal norms’, ‘Videogames for its own sake’, ‘Videogames for learning’, and ‘Active Videogames for health promotion’. This scoping review has identified a lack of articles focusing on children’s experiences of play in a digital space, and these perspectives are essential for parents, professionals, game designers, and policymakers alike to contribute to an enhanced understanding of the role of play in digital spaces.

PMID:35944033 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0272630

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