Mizuko Ito on cell phone applications

I think I missed this interview of Mizuko Ito in Red Herring released on October 10th. Dr. Ito is a cultural anthropologist from University of Southern California/Keio University (Tokyo) who studies how the next generation uses new media (her publication can be downloaded on here blog). Here is her point:

Ms. Ito says older generations have a lot to learn from how the rising generation is taking up these new technologies—sometimes adults don’t recognize that young people are developing innovative uses for technologies. “I see my work as an anthropologist as identifying and describing what these natives of the digital world are doing, in ways which are informative to people who may not have grown up in that environment, as well as to people trying to develop those kinds of technologies,” she says.

Her work also involves interesting ideas about some questions I already tackled here: mobile devices and their potential uses (playing games, watching videos), as well as the doubts I raised:

the question is portable media devices, and to what degree people want them integrated. The camera’s been integrated, and video is on its way, but slower. But the big issue is content delivery beyond ring tones and wallpaper, like television, short films, novels, and music. It’s the ‘Will it replace the iPod?’ question. I’m not sure yet. We’re not even at the point where we can easily download television or video, and people are not used to television and video outside of homes, for the most part. (...) I see the content side mainly supported by devices like Game Boys, trading card games, and other kinds of portable media kids carry around with them. That may change. But when you see things like the PSP, you can imagine that device turning easily into a video device as well as a gaming device, and some sort of communications device. The mobile phone is not really in the space yet. It’s been mostly small-screen games rather than networked location-based gaming that is taking advantage of the fact that the game has left the desktop

Why do I blog this?I agree with her: mobile phone games are small-screen applications, and the location-based/pervasive games are still R&D or art performance project. But as she says "it's not in the spacer yet".