Today on KS: Why Babies Play Videogames

Ryan Bradley (now at Popular Science) did a fascinating essay for our Back to School issue on the inner psychology of babies — and what that means for game designers.

In the last 10 years we-and by “we” I mean scientists and academics-have made a fundamental shift in how we think about babies. Parents have known for a while that infants lead inner lives so mysterious that we can only guess at their complexity. But back in what psychology professor Alison Gopnik calls “the bad old days,” the assumption “that newborn babies were crying carrots, vegetables with few reflexes” was the norm. In the past 10 years, Gopnik continues, “we’ve not only discovered that children have these imaginative powers-we’ve actually begun to understand how these powers are possible. We are developing a science of the imagination.”

As psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, and the rest of academe were changing their approach to young kids, the kids who had grown up with videogames hit their late 20s and early 30s. Some got jobs as game designers, and some had kids of their own. Some of these designers began building games for their kids. Eric Jorgensen is one.

Read the rest here.