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This article reports an ethnographic study of a subsidized computer center for children in an inner-city library. Unsurprisingly, young children play with the Internet. Surprisingly, this creates conflict with the justifications given for such centers by adults and public policy, leading to an atmosphere of tension between differing understandings of the Internet’s purpose: as a place for ritual and play vs. as a place for the transmission of information and for work (Carey, 1989). Theories of play based on Huizinga (1950) and Gadamer (1989) are used to explain Internet play. The study finds that the narrowly instrumental rationales of public policy about the digital divide are rehearsed and repeated in everyday conversation at the center, even to the extent that child’s play is denaturalized and seen as a problem that must be corrected.