How Turkish young people utilize Internet cafes: the results of ethnographic research in Ankara

Mutlu Binark, Günseli Bayraktutan Sütcü, Fatma Buçakçı

Abstract


We think that the Internet cafés in Turkey are the most cheapest places where the young people meet each other and socialize both in offline and online. Young people develop a tendency to utilize the same Internet café, and thus this using practice empowers already existed social networks among the young people. The Internet cafés are the places where game culture is promoted among the young people as well. This game culture contains two dimensional game related economy; firstly, the player has to pay per hour usage fee for the equipment (pc, microphone etc.), secondly, although the most popular games played at the Internet cafés are free to play, in order to survive within the game world the player has to invest in online economy by spending his/her real money. In this context, in the first part of the paper, a brief history of the widespread of the Internet cafés in Turkey will be summarized, and then, the findings of the ethnographic field study, conducted in Ankara at micro scale will be discussed. At the end of the paper, the development of new media literacy approach stemming from both critical pedagogy and critical media literacy theory, which gives responsibility to the user and the education process itself, will be suggested against the conservative technopolitics that recently aims to protect children and young people through controlling the content of the Internet and Internet cafés in Turkey.

Keywords


nternet cafés; techno-social space; male-dominated culture; social networking; game culture; game economy; critical media literacy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS312009249