Emma Reay

Dec 20, 2023

The Child in Videogames

From the Meek, to the Mighty, to the Monstrous

Palgrave Macmillan 2023

Drawing across Games Studies, Childhood Studies, and Children’s Literature Studies, Emma Reay's book The Child in Videogames: From the Meek, to the Mighty, to the Monstrous (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023) redirects critical conversations away from questions of whether videogames are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for child-players and towards questions of how videogames produce childhood as a set of social roles and rules in contemporary Western contexts. 

It does so by cataloguing and critiquing representations of childhood across a corpus of over 500 contemporary videogames. While child-players are frequently the topic of academic debate – particularly within the fields of psychology, behavioural science, and education research - child-characters in videogames are all but invisible. This book's aim is to make these child-characters not only visible, but legible, and to demonstrate that coded kids in virtual worlds can shed light on how and why the boundaries between adults and children are shifting.

Rudolf Inderst is a professor of Game Design with a focus on Digital Game Studies at the IU International University of Applied Science, department lead for Games at Swiss culture magazine Nahaufnahmen.ch, editor of “DiGRA D-A-CH Game Studies Watchlist”, a weekly messenger newsletter about Game Culture and curator of @gamestudies at tiktok.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Rudolf Thomas Inderst

Rudolf Inderst is a professor of Game Design at the IU International University of Applied Science.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Rudolf Thomas Inderst