2-4 | Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software

Book Review

Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software

Mizuko Ito
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009. References, index, photographs, tables. 234 pp. $24.95 cloth. ISBN: 978026203352

by Warren Buckleitner

First Paragraph:

If you’re looking for a thrilling tale of corporate espionage and rags-to-riches (and rags-to-rags) careers, you need look no further than the business of making children’s software over the past two decades. In Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software, cultural anthropologist Mizuko Ito opens the door for a closer look at children and technology during this time period. Limited in scope for reasons described below, the book breaks new ground in the way it attempts to interpret what happened during this period of optimism and frustration, when publishers were competing to produce and market 979 commercial products per year during the peak year
(2001) and trying to market them in retail settings.