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Digital play on children’s terms: a child rights approach to designing digital experiences

Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862, Olafsson, Kjartan and Pothong, Kruakae (2023) Digital play on children’s terms: a child rights approach to designing digital experiences. New Media & Society. ISSN 1461-4448 (In Press)

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Identification Number: 10.1177/14614448231196579


Children have the right to play (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989) yet their opportunities to play on their own terms (free play) are under pressure, including online. Drawing on an analysis of the qualities of children’s free play across time and cultures, a nationally representative survey of UK 6- to 17-year-olds compared their experiences of play across digital and non-digital contexts to identify design features that enhance or undermine children’s digital play and propose evidence-based recommendations for digital products and services likely to be used by children. Children viewed digital play more critically than non-digital play although both were judged poorly on key qualities of ‘intrinsically-motivated,’ ‘voluntary,’ ‘risk-taking’ and ‘safety.’ Logistical regression analysis shows that rights-respecting design features contribute to children’s enjoyment of digital play more than premium or freemium designs do, thus supporting Playful by Design recommendations that can benefit children.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2023 07:27
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 04:48

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