In the year 2004 over half of the Western European population will be online. A generation of children and young people, the so-called "Generation @", grow up in a new multimedia environment with mobile phones, interactive devices, digital TV and new forms of interactive entertainment. The proposed High- Level Scientific Conference, "Generation @ in Multimedia Environments (G@ME)" shall focus on social, cultural and economic aspects of interactive entertainment for children and young people in Europe.
The main objectives are:
- With regard to Interactive Entertainment a clear generational gap is to be observed. Many academics do not pay attention to a phenomenon that never became a relevant part of their own lives. It seems that it needs a generation of academics that have grown up with computer and video games. The Workshop sets out to involve young researchers who belong to this generation.
- Interactive Entertainment has to be analysed from different disciplinary perspectives. Social, economic, cultural and educational perspectives have to be integrated in order to reach a comprehensive understanding of this field. The Workshop shall bring together scholars from media and communication studies, economic psychology and education.
- Current developments in interactive entertainment raise the question of cultural identity or cultural dominance. Successful computer games, most of them being produced in the U.S.A. or in Japan (e.g. EA, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft), are global phenomena which go far beyond the games market itself. Instead they shape the whole range of cultural symbols making up children' s and young peoples ' environments. Thus, the proposed Workshop will include an intercultural comparative perspective.
- The markets of interactive entertainment are developing quite fast. As a rule, the development of technology and content is far ahead of scientific research. In order to further the exchange between these two spheres, the proposed Workshop shall include academics as well as representatives of the industry.
- With interactive entertainment becoming a core element of young people's media environments, this field earns increasing attention with regard to the debates on media education and media literacy and on a "User friendly Information Society". This aspect is particularly important against the background of substantial differences between genders and social groups in whether and how they make use of new technologies. The contributions to the proposed Workshop will pay particular attention to these questions.