15Life Is Games

Let's turn now from the topic of underrepresentation and the powerlessness that it represents, to an area in which Virtual Natives have much more agency: gaming.

When we looked earlier at the relationship of Virtual Natives and their sense of personal agency, their feeling that they should be able to use their digital tools to take action and solve problems, we mentioned in passing that gaming had something to do with this mindset, in that it creates a sense that if VNs make the right moves, they should be able to level up, in life as well as in their games. We talked about this topic earlier in relation to the workplace, but let's look at it again with a wider lens. After all, 90% of Virtual Natives consider themselves to be gamers or game enthusiasts, so the gaming experience is a central part of their lives.1 What psychological expectations does a gaming‐heavy childhood create in VNs, and how does this experience set them apart from earlier generations?

“Red Light, Green Light, One, Two, Three!”

The mechanical doll turned around.

She looked like a schoolgirl of about eight years old with neat, short black hair pulled back into ponytails on either side of her head. Her orange tunic playdress was layered over a yellow blouse with a princess collar, and she wore long white knee socks. It was the kind of outfit you found on dolls made before the 1960s, but her cuteness was diminished by her gigantic proportions. At some 20 feet tall, she towered over the uniformed ...

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