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Derek McMillan

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Sherry Turkle started the initiative on technology and self at MIT. Pupils at Sackville School in the UK were among those involved in research for this project. They were questioned about their relationship with cyberpets. My own work was on the relationship between pupils and the video game character Lara Croft Sherry Turkle's books develop the issue of children's relationships with computers and relationships in cyberspace generally.

A lot of research still needs to be done in this area. Sherry Turkle's "Life on the Screen" dealt with developing relationships at a time when Multi User Domains were a peripheral activity. The massive furore in the media about chat rooms and the widespread use of Yahoo, ICQ and MSN messenger are an indication that large numbers of pupils as well as adults are involved in this.

The media has understandably focussed on the danger of children talking to unpleasant strangers on the internet. For children the attraction is the safety - the idea that they can communicate with people all over the world without going out of the house. For them the dangerous characters are not real and the much-publicised dangers of talking to paedophiles are "something which happens to someone else."

There are thousands of cyberpsychology links. I have limited myself to three and my own yahoo page for anyone who wants to discuss this online.

Sherry Turkle

John Suler

Planet Psych

My Yahoo page

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