A new Cambridge University institute will soon give children’s computer games,comics and novels as much significance as “texts worthy of serious academic attention.”
Professor Maria Nikolajeva,who is set to be the first director of the Cambridge / Homerton Research and Training Centre for Children’s Literature,dedicated to studying children’s media,insists that video games like The Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince help children make moral choices.
“Its easy to say that these things are just kids fashions or that theyre trash,but I dont believe thats good enough,” the Telegraph quoted Nikolajeva as saying.
She added: “If what we regard as trash is popular with young people,we need to know why.
“Even if you are looking at an ABC book,the choice of ”A for apple and ”C for car” rather than ”cart” tells us something about the culture. There are lots of embedded,implicit messages.”
Nikolajeva further argued that at a hidden level books about growing up are also about making children realize they will one day die.
She said Peter Pan was about a child denying death because he refuses to grow up.
She concluded: “All children’s books bring the idea of your own mortality. I think it’s inherent.
There might be writers who are more conscious [of such embedded ideas than others,who never give it a thought,but I think it’s such a profound part of children’s literature,that it’s present everywhere.”