Playing with Power in Movies, Television, and Video Games: From Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Marsha Kinder, Author University of California Press $35 (277p) ISBN 978-0-520-07570-2
Parents who worry that playing video games will turn their kids' brains to mush may welcome Kinder's view that the games contribute to a ``ripening process . . . by fostering equilibration, by demanding shifting identifications with a wide range of subjects and objects, by forcing children to use the inductive process.'' This academic treatise swings between claims for the ostensible benefits of kiddies' TV shows, cartoons, videos and video games, and an analysis of how these same media instill an illusory sense of empowerment in children, serve as substitute parents and transmit consumerist ideology. The author, a professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, psychoanalytically interprets the meanings of Muppet figures and applies semiotics to Garfield the Cat as one might hit a flea with a sledgehammer. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-520-07776-8
Ebook - 277 pages - 978-0-520-91243-4
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