When? 1:30pm, Thurs, Oct 31
Where? TAGlab (EV-11.655)
Youth school networks and digital gaming
The aim of this empirical study is to investigate the social networks of teenagers in upper secondary school (ages 17-19) in order to explore the importance of gaming for friendship forming and social interaction in a school setting. Digital games are now a widespread leisure activity engaging over half of the western population. While gaming is spreading in all age groups it has its strongest base among teenagers and young adults, individuals with the leisure time and resources available for engagement with games. Research on youth gaming often focus on online settings and online gaming, a prevalent part of digital gaming or it concerns the hypothesis of ‘time displacement’ that time and social relationships online will reduce time and social relationship offline. In this context little focus has been placed on the offline social context of gaming youths and the part that gaming might play here. While we know that cultural and social capital from gaming is not limited to gaming sessions we know less what role this capital play in the social contexts which youth move in on a daily basis. Therefore, this study investigates the role of digital gaming offline; in a school setting. The research question is: What is the role of digital gaming for friendship formation and social relationships in school? The research is built around two data collection methods 1) social network study (SNS) and 2) interview data which are used to delve into the meaning of the SNS results. The results, while still tentative, explore the potential role of gaming as a means to/loss of social capital and also focus on gendered differences.