Public and Private Adolescent Lives: The Educational Value of Entertainment

  • Pilar Lacasa
  • Laura Méndez
  • Sara Cortés
Part of the Palgrave Entertainment Industries book series (PAEI)


In this chapter we explore the educational value of entertainment to build bridges between young people’s everyday scenarios, when commercial video games and other digital tools mediate their practices. The research focuses on the interaction between the private and public lives of a group of teenagers, 12 girls and 6 boys aged 16 to 18, in the process of building their identities when they use social media and play commercial videogames. Participants played The Sims. We focus on informal educational contexts, an extra-curricular scenario, and examine how teachers and children use commercial video games. Adopting an ethnographical and action research point of view, the analysis of the adolescents’ blogs and multimedia productions are the main focus to explore private and public sphere. Our results show how youth identity today is built around virtual and real worlds, public or private, where differences between them matter less than a need to communicate with other people, far away in space and time, which was unthinkable a few years ago. All this sets up a real or virtual world that educators, parents and researchers often forget.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pilar Lacasa
    • 1
  • Laura Méndez
    • 2
  • Sara Cortés
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philology, Communication, and DocumentationUniversity of AlcaláMadridSpain
  2. 2.Developmental PsychologyUniversity of Distance Education (UNED)MadridSpain

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