“Kids Don’t Make Money, and That is a Kids Game”: Children’s Critical Actions Against the Commercial Design of Club Penguin
This study is the last phase of a four-year ethnographic study, within which I examined children’s collaborative play and digital literacy practices in commercially designed virtual play worlds. In the last phase of this study, I specifically focused on the critical engagements of the study participants against the commercial design of Club Penguin virtual world. The participants of my study consisted of groups of five- to eight-year- old children in an afterschool setting in a university town in the Midwestern United States. It was revealed in this study that the children found Club Penguin’s two-tiered membership model unfair, and they took a critical stance. Under my guidance, the children, by using critical literacy approach, wrote letters to Club Penguin, made comments on the official Club Penguin blog posts, and created YouTube videos in effort to affect change regarding this design feature.
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