Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
John A. Sutterby
A teenager plays a first-person shooter video game. A young girl plays with her Barbie and Ken dolls and has them go on a date that finishes with a sexualized kissing game. A preschooler watches a combat-based television program then starts running around the house kicking and punching. A group of adolescent girls and boys secretly play a Spin-the-Bottle-type kissing game. All of these play activities have been critiqued by social commentators, educators, and researchers interested in children's play because they are seen as examples of “bad” play. “Bad” play is generally seen as play that some adults consider to be harmful to children in one way or another. Generally “good” play is play that adults consider educational or therapeutic and that represents positive social values. On the other hand, “bad” play is play that is seen as encouraging negative social values like violence, consumerism, and sexuality, or play that ...