ScreenAgers released

I’ve been so busy that this actually passed me by. The new, updated “academic” version of my book Playing the Future has been released by Hampton Press as ScreenAgers: Lessons in Chaos from Digital Kids.

I really do like this version, which looks at the transition towards digital literacy as a cultural shift on the order of the move from orality to literacy. And it does so using examples from Pokemon and Teletubbies to SouthPark and MST3K. It’s a fun ride, and it really was a pleasure to go through this one and flesh it out with contemporary examples.

And, when you look at some of the early reviews of the book, it’s another case of newspaper critics terribly underestimating the potential of youth culture. At the time of the book’s original release, reviewers scoffed at the notion of a screenagers sensibility, or that snowboarding would become a big deal, or that manga, anime, or even video games would ever find their way into the American mainstream.

While some of that’s old hat, now, that’s what makes the real core of this book so much more accessible. See, I wasn’t just saying that all this seemingly chaotic media is, indeed, “good for us” and our kids; I was also analyzing the characteristics of the shift they bring. It’s not just that we’re in a more complex mediaspace; the biases – the fundamental rules of self-definition and existence – also change.

So, if you’re interested in what I believe are the more profound ramifications of the shift from literal to digital culture – as evidenced in the emergence of a truly participatory mediaspace – please do have a look.