Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Media and socio-cultural communication, Social sciences

Publication Details

Childhoods 2005, University of Oslo, July 2005.


Defined in the Ireland’s national play policy as ‘freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively engages the child’ (NCO, 2004, p.10), play now more often than not is a technologically-mediated activity. This paper focuses on the role of technology in play and explores the impact of technological change on children’s play activities. Drawing on our study commissioned by Ireland’s National Children’s Office, we present a detailed exploration of the play activities of Irish children, identifying the range of technologies accessed by children and how they are used in their daily play patterns. The project provided children with an opportunity to express their views and the research presents children’s perspectives on the meanings, interpretations and value placed on technology-based play. We also document the views of parents and teachers on the opportunities and dangers involved. Research findings evaluate the extent of the penetration of technology into children’s lives and look at the wider implications for physiological and behavioural development, education and lifestyle. These draft research findings offer valuable comparative data with which to identify the most important issues for future research and greatly complement existing research within this underdeveloped field.