Background. In recent decades, the living conditions and development of children have changed significantly. The group of children that is open to the new and is sensitive enough is the group of children of early and preschool age since they have been formed and developed in completely different conditions than previous generations. The new childhood is taking shape and exists in the material, information, communicative, etc. environment that adults shape.
The Objective is to consider some general trends of the information environment of modern childhood and to fix a number of its contradictions and paradoxes.
Design.The paper attempts to determine the characteristics of modern preschool childhood through analyzing child information environment. Based on the analysis of the market for modern toys, books and films, the author states some paradoxes of the current socio-cultural situation. One of them consists in the fact that a significant part of the extensive information products for children is not designed for the age characteristics of the target audience. Another paradox lies in the fact that the increased demand for the child mental development is combined with an excessively careful attitude to their physical security and independence. Particular attention is paid to computer technology in early and preschool childhood.
Results.The identified features of modern children in connection with the characteristics of the child subculture are discussed. Among them there are the underdevelopment of large and small motor skills, impaired speech development, lack of imagination, communication difficulties, lack of independence and self-organization. Having a high level of awareness, mental development and technical literacy, children still remain passive, dependent on adults and external circumstances.
Findings.The author concludes that the attitudes of adults to early development, which is understood as “learning,” inhibits the development of the child’s personality and brings about lack of motivation. Attempting to accelerate intellectual development inepts and sometimes blocks the development of the child’s personality. With all the ambiguity of the concept of "personality", the key defining its characteristics are self-reliance, independence, and responsibility. It is these characteristics that are most affected in modern children.
The paper describes research on the role and place of computer games in the lives of children and adolescents, and also perceiving how young gamers estimate the impact of various aspects of computer games and experience games in general on themselves.
The study involved gamers between the age of 11 and 19 years. The study is conducted using surveys and interviews. The issues are related to those aspects of games that are perceived as most important, attractive, and cause the greatest emotional response, and also determine the selection of games; how users appreciate game characters including users’ attitudes to the games and the place of the computer game in their lives.
The study revealed that children and adolescents generally have a positive attitude towards computer games and find them a useful and enjoyable part of life, they do not feel shame and remorse for wasting time playing computer games, and are going to continue to play on into adulthood. Playing computer games they learn to communicate and make decisions.
The most important aspect of evaluating game characters is their visual representation.
The character appearance in the game is one of the main factors of their attractiveness. Adolescents do not appreciate only important aesthetic component of the visual images, but also their meaning: reflection of personality or actions of characters in visual images.
Preferences in selecting games are largely determined by the player actions in the game rather than the game plot. For adolescents computer game is an opportunity to try themselves in different situations and get the experience of interacting with other people, who may get inaccessible in real life. A computer game for children is a model of a successful living, so it can be used as a means of personal self-development. Computer games make a full-fledged sphere of life in adolescents through which they gradually realize the importance of school and studies, sports, and hobbies. Playing computer games adolescents relax, socialize and gain social and cognitive skills