The Uncanny Valley Revisited: Play with the Internet of Toys

  • Jackie MarshEmail author
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


In this chapter, data from a study of young children’s play in the home are considered. Focusing on a child’s interaction with a robotic toy, Furby, the chapter considers the ways in which humans and machines playfully interact. Drawing on the concepts of the uncanny valley and anthropomorphism, the affective relationship between child and Furby is analysed. In the final part of the chapter, post-human philosophy is drawn upon to move beyond a human-centric perspective of play in an attempt to understand the role of the toy itself in the play episodes. This approach allows for an account of play with the Internet of Toys that pays heed to the opportunities such activities present, which may offer a counterbalance to a potential over-focus on risks.


Internet of Toys Play Robots Uncanny valley Post-humanism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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