RYBLOVA M.A., NAZAROVA M.P. “Boys Play War”: Game as a Way of Mastering the Space of War by Children

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2014.3.11

Ryblova Marina Aleksandrovna

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Leading Researcher,

Southern Scientific Center of Russian Academy of Sciences

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Prosp. Chekhova, 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

Nazarova Marina Petrovna

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor,

Volgograd State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering

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1, Akademicheskaya ul., 400074. Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. This article investigates various ways to help children adjust to war conditions through games and playful situations. During Soviet times this approach was established to aid children in war conditions. Then these techniques were applied to other areas of the populace. However, they did not take into account the differences in perception of military events between children and adults.

It is obvious that there are some differences in the way children would adapt to war using these techniques, mostly because children’s adaptation process would always happen in a playful way. Based on the analysis of the personal sources, the article describes the games of the children of Stalingrad and the way they helped them to adapt to the hardest conditions of one of the bloodiest battles in history, and a way to create a proper child space in chaos and violence of the adult world.

The authors also identified gender and age specifics of children’s war games, showing their abilities to deal with the war situation itself and its psychological consequences.

Key words: anthropology of military childhood, adaptive game possibilities, child’s territory of the war, gender and age characteristics of children’s war games. 

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“Boys Play War”: Game as a Way of Mastering the Space of War by Children by Ryblova M.A., Nazarova M.P. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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