Laura Ermi & Frans Mäyrä

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The primary aim of this paper is to look into the game related practices and significances of games. This perspective is applied to examining the pleasures derived from different games and to analyse the different strategies developed by children and their families to situate and control game playing. Research was conducted among 10–12-year-old children in Finland during spring and summer 2003. Sample of 284 survey questionnaires filled out by children and their parents provides an overview on the subject and the basis for 15 thematic interviews. It is hard to point towards any single element in games as the most powerfully engaging one, but the imaginary worlds provided by games seem to have an important role in offering children possibilities for experiencing things otherwise impossible. In terms of control, there does not seem to be any severe conflicts or serious troubles currently surrounding games in homes.