To Be a Mighty Pirate: Guybrush Threepwood, Indiana Jones and a misspent youth of unintentional learning.

Anastasia Marie Salter


The tension between instruction and pleasure is interwoven into the heart of children’s literature. But children’s literature escapes some consequence of this battle through acceptance of the medium’s inherent value, particularly as digital media has grown as a part of children’s daily lives and offered a number of seemingly less 'valuable' alternatives to the act of reading. The same tension of instruction, or educational intent, and pleasure, or entertainment value, is inherent in our dissection of the role of new media in children’s lives, but our engagement with these works is often filled with suspicion and hierarchical judgments of the quality of newer forms, from video games to social media, against the traditional codex.

The addition of video games to the landscape of early entertainment and educational experiences of youth is worth querying, particularly as it is the apparently distinctive nature of these media that has helped to give rise to the very construction of the digital native and the assumptions alongside the label. Given the increased role that video games and other digital media play in the formative experiences of youth, how do these media interrogate and reflect the dual purposes of education and entertainment? How can video games be understood in the child’s process of self-construction?

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680