"Time and Space in Interactive Media for Children"
A Field of Its Own: To Study Computer Games as an Independent Genre

by Anja Rau

Today, "literacy" can no longer refer to the printed word alone. The spread of the computer and the internet causes a need for new skills: in decoding multimedia, understanding hypertext, evaluating online sources, ... . The German Department of Zürich University and the Swiss Institute for Children's Literature (Schweizerisches Jugendbuch-Institut / Johanna Spyri-Stiftung - SJI) have responded to this development and established a new program focussing on interactive media for children (Schwerpunktprogramm "Interaktive Kinder- und Jugendmedien"). The program will enable scholars to study "interactive narrative media" in the broadest definition of the term, concentrating primarily on the theory and conception of interactivity, audience-analysis and cultural geography or interculturality. The first Explorative Workshop, Zeit und Raum in interaktiven Kinder- und Jugendmedien ("Time and Space in Interactive Media for Children"), took place in Zürich, Nov. 23-25 2001.