Regardless Of Their Popularity Amongst Youth (ages 6 - 14)

This dissertation endeavors to deeply understand the options of Minecraft servers explicitly created for youth via three studies using blended strategies research. Human-Pc Interaction (HCI) research shows that sandbox-model virtual world games like Minecraft operate as curiosity-pushed areas where youth can discover their artistic interests, build technical experience, and form social connections with peers and close to-friends. Regardless of their recognition amongst youth (ages 6 - 14), we know little concerning the social and technological options of "in-the-wild" Minecraft servers that current themselves as "child-friendly" or "family-friendly." haters gonna hate of this work are three-fold:1. To investigate the rhetoric of kid-/household-friendliness and the socio-technical mechanisms of such servers (Study I: 60 servers), 2. To grasp the lived experiences of server staff who reasonable on such servers (Research II: 8 youth and 22 moderators), and 3. To explore a design paradigm for technological mechanisms that leverage the strengths of a kid-/household-friendly server neighborhood while also supporting moderators' practices (Research III) I draw from interdisciplinary theories and structure this dissertation round two primary arguments about kid-/family-pleasant Minecraft server ecosystems. First, I argue that they are instantiations of play-based mostly affinity networks created by adults that promote opportunities for youth to discover their pursuits and social connections. Second, I argue that the social and technological mechanisms reflected in the server rules and moderators' practices are characteristic of servers that self-describe as child-/household-friendly. Study I contributes a taxonomy for understanding server guidelines and an empirical characterization of three server genres - kid-/family-friendly (n1 = 19); common-family-pleasant (n2 = 20); and general (n3 = 20) in Minecraft. Examine II reveals moderators' motivations and socio-technical practices in kid-/household-pleasant servers. The findings present that adult moderators encourage youth-led creative roleplays, help the pursuits of younger gamers (e.g., Hogwarts virtual world, virtual Pride Day celebrations, etc.), and offer mentorship to youth moderators on their servers. Study III theorizes the potential for automated prosocial tools in play-based spaces by a Discord Bot referred to as "UCIProsocialBot" within OhanaCraft, one in every of the kid-/household-pleasant server communities. Together, these findings provide a set of social and technological options that will substantiate a mannequin for designing kid-/household-pleasant online playgrounds. This work theorizes that kid-/household-friendly servers can actualize optimistic youth development when their self-narratives, social practices, and technological mechanisms are aligned with adolescent developmental needs.