10.0373 computers, play, and e-publishing

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 20:17:16 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 373.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Attachment Research Center (77)
Subject: Re: 10.0366 computers and play

[2] From: Wendell Piez <piez@rci.rutgers.edu> (10)
Subject: Re: 10.0366 computers and play

Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 21:28:39 -0300
From: Attachment Research Center <Postmast@attach.edu.ar>
Subject: Re: 10.0366 computers and play

Children who do not engage in active play have a serious problem with
socialization. Anybody who has read Bowlby knows that children who
fail to engage in social interactions are detached children. And they
are detached because their parents, particularly their mothers, are
absent. Physically and mentally absent. Offspring of detached parents
fail to trust their caregivers and so cannot construct what Bowlby
calls a "secure base", whereby the infant leaves his mother for
longer and longer periods, returning from time to time, to check out
whether their mother is still responding (to check out whether they
can trust their mother is a reliable base). Excursions into the
environment and socialization with other people, other children
included, is antithetical to attachment behaviour whereby the infant
would tend to be near his mother. Bowlby discovered that in order
that children dare explore the environment around them, including
having relationships with others than their mothers, they must
construct a secure base, that is, they must have a reliable,
responding, connected mother.

Otherwise, children tend to become clingy, excessively demanding,
crying all day and night when they are at home; when they leave home
the daren't embark on adventurous excursions into the environment for
fear they won't find their mothers if they want them or need them on
their return.

That constitutes a major drawback for socialization. Many become
loners, and feel at a loss when faced with social occasions, at
school or playing with other children. That is why they resort to
television or computer games where they avoid having to interact with
another human being, one of the most fearful actions they sometimes
have to suffer.

Attachment Research Center
Juncal 1966
1116 BA, Argentina

Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 12:12:49 -0500
From: Wendell Piez <piez@rci.rutgers.edu>
Subject: Re: 10.0366 computers and play

Play can't be taught, but games can. I find both the positions cited to be
one-sided ("Teaching kids playground games is GOOD"; "Teaching kids playground
games is BAD").

Lately I've been reading Seymour Papert's new book, THE CONNECTED FAMILY
(Longstreet, just out) -- very enlightening on the general issue. He produced
the LOGO programming language for kids and a package, MicroWorlds, which serves
as a LOGO "development environment"; his perspectives are helping me open up
whole vistas on my own scholarly activities, computing and otherwise (but just
play after all).

It's only a www site, but look at http://www.ConnectedFamily.com/ --

Wendell Piez

**[Editorial note: In light of the discussion we are now having about
books, publishing, and related matters, Seymour Papert's "companion web
site" to his new book is highly significant. It suggests to me a paradigm
for combining the virtues of both publishing media -- while not involving
commercial publishers (and university presses that operate in the
commercial style) in otherwise costly and uncertain experiments. --WM]