Today is the second jam-packed day of the DIY Citizenship conference, which runs until tomorrow. Ive had an amazing time so far - it's been quite a rush of awesome talks, conversations and displays, and too many totally intriguing panels to choose from. I presented my bit yesterday morning, which means that I'm now free to just enjoy and listen for the rest of the weekend. I won't be blogging this one, but I have been contributing occasionally to the Twitter feed (#DIY10).
For anyone who's interested, my presentation is online here - and here's the abstract:
Playing at Making Games: Child-Generated Content and Commercial Game Systems
A growing number of commercial children’s games now feature user-friendly tools that allow players to contribute directly to the game design. These tools provide children with important opportunities to engage in the production of user-generated content (UGC), fashioning virtual items and designing game levels and missions. Players can then share their finished products with other user-creators, by uploading them to a commercially managed system. UGC games such as Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet and Nintendo’s WarioWare D.I.Y. not only motivate the formation of vibrant new cultures of practice, but could also potentially represent a major shift within children’s cultural production. Whereas popular children’s toys, media, and videogames have traditionally consisted of artifacts made for children by adults, UGC games provide children with a uniquely accessible entry point to both means of production and channels of mass distribution. UGC games enable children to both make their own digital games and play games made by entire networks of other children. However, this entry point also leads into unfamiliar new legislative territories, as children’s burgeoning roles as collaborative game “designers” raise complex questions about authorship, fair dealing and freedom of expression—questions that have yet to be adequately addressed within either commercial or regulatory systems. This paper will examine the presence and function of child players (and child-generated content) within the social networks and market relations currently unfolding in and around UGC games, and consider some of the opportunities and challenges that these games present for children’s emerging cultural rights within a digital context.
You can watch a live webcast of the conference here, and break out sessions here.