Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Verenikina, I and Herrington, J, The affordances of computer play in young children: A preliminary study, Proceedings of the Emerging Technologies Conference, University of Wollongong, 18-21 June 2008.


Theories of play have identified many ways in which play may advance children’s development. Yet, much traditional childhood play is being replaced by time spent on computer play. However, such computer programs are often produced without theoretical foundation, using animations, colour, sound, and surprise as the basis of their design rather than pedagogical principles or theories. This study explores the affordances of different types of computer play in enhancing children’s traditional developmental play. A number of computer games designed for young children were selected on the basis of criteria developed from an extensive literature analysis. This study presents analysis of a preliminary study in which two young siblings were observed playing the selected games in a variety of settings, including their natural home environment.