Professor Dr Klaus Oestreicher
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The BobbeKin World
In 2001 Marc Prensky published his influential article about the difference between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Prensky’s paper divides our world into two ‘classes’, those, who grew up in the era of analogue technologies and those, who were growing up in a time, where the ICT revolution became partof a new and different reality.
Both these groups show a rather different behaviour.
Creating a project like the BobbeKins is clearly addressing the Digital Natives. These are multi-tasking,but have limited patience and concentration on the long-term. This also is much influence by overstimulation being permanently around us. Communication has shifted.
How often do siblings text each other from one room to the next instead of talking to each other? The impact of multimedia is omnipresent. But one point has not changed, children’s fantasy, their love for the imaginative.
But there also is another societal discussion, violence. The ‘World of Warcraft[s]’ and comparable games start very early in childhood. One may see this as a destruction of the original imagination or a transfer of a child’s fantasy into one of killing and destroying.
The BobbeKin World is positively very different. It adopts multimedia, meets this way the modern ways and shifts from physical books to virtual multi-sensorial perceptions: The BobbeKins take advantage of addressing a variety of senses, which are at the core of multimedia. It even presents a 3-D world, but one which can be favourably used on common household devices.
This way the project that Professor Tony Dyson and Chantal Harvey have created is a forward leading way of catching modern children by fascination. There is a wonderful story, there are magic colours and environments stimulating a child’s fantasy and there are lovely characters. None of these are simplistic, as e.g. the Japanese Manga, being a doubtful minimisation of characteristics. There is a storytelling of positive developments, which the present society
needs so much.
But one element is totally missing, violence.
This unique combination of positive core elements presented with moral and narrated in a form attracting children’s fascination makes the BobbeKin World so valuable. It is the combination of many traditional values into our modern world of technologisation, which makes the BobbeKin World the much-needed next step, which is more than the technologisation of the traditional children’s books. It is a futureoriented progress for the world of fantasy of our digital native children.
Hopefully there will be more to come.
Prof Dr Klaus Oestreicher