Games and the contradictions of the childhood

Jurgen Schwier

This paper attempts to look into the question of up to what extent games present an efficient medium in the development process of children in the late schoolchild age (approximately between the 8th and 12th year of age). I would like to dispute at the outset of some central tendencies of modern childhood developments and of the changes in the everyday life of children. While the realized change in childhood often has been described as a loss of intimacy, spontaneity, initiative and sociability, in this paper attention is called to the potential chances of this process that might open up some possibilities to a new balancing of the relation between individuality and sociability, between intimacy and society. In form of a review, I would like to trace George Herbert Mead¿s intersubjective-theoretical conception as a second line of argumentation for revealing the developmental-logical function of games which is not interchangeable at will. Finally the consequences for the subject matter of games at school and sport clubs are to be outlined.

Games, childhood, school