Looking For The Mouse

Clay Shirky on why interactive media is not a fad, but here to stay:

I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she’s going back there to see if Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn’t what she was doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, “What you doing?” And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, “Looking for the mouse.”
Here’s something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here’s something four-year-olds know: Media that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for.

About David Burn


  1. And my three-year old tried to squeeze jelly from a glass jar.
    I guess the glass jar industry is quaking in its boots too, now?

  2. My 4 year old grandchild went up to the tower on the playground equipment and told me he was at the airport tower controls and that he was going to land a plane. He told me to put out my arms and he would guide me down safely. I feel either silly for being taken in by this child’s manipulation, or I love the little guy so much I would do anything to spend an afternoon playing imagination station in the park.
    Hard choice to decide.

  3. Overheard my 9 year old daughter trying to describe VHS tape to sibling. “We do have that movie. but it’s one of those black things. You, know. The black things?”