Digital play as a spiritually formative activity



International journal of children's spirituality.
The ubiquitous presence of technology in children’s lives and the likelihood that technology will remain a significant part of young people’s culture means that scholars and practitioners need to ask how digital play may exert a positive spiritual influence on children and youth. This essay therefore explores four spiritually nurturing aspects of digital participation: (1) connections between the polyphonic nature of digital identity and the ideal of a spiritual disciple open to divine influence and change through new experiences and habituating practices; (2) ways in which young people’s empowerment as producers of the self and communities may transfer to ‘real’-world transformation efforts; (3) theories suggesting that the relational nature of social networking and gaming encourages and reinforces relational consciousness and increases young people’s conscious participation in relationship building; and (4) links between the imaginative elements of digital play and the facilitation of ritual experience and spiritual self-knowledge. The essay also attends to some of the dangers that lurk in the digital world and suggests how we might discern when young people’s digital play is spiritually healthy and when it veers into spiritual desolation.


International Journal of Children’s Spirituality

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