Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Study: Video Games Allow Teens to Explore Social, Civic Outlets

A new study released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that video games might not have quite the negative affect on teens/kids as many of us fear. In fact, the study indicates that kids who game together are more likely to volunteer, perform charity work and become politically involved. The key here seems to be "gaming together." Kids who play video games together learn positive social interaction skills. So, it seems, let 'em play (together)! Still, you'll want to oversee what games and how much they play.

Video games may not stunt teenagers' social growth and civic engagement as many parents have long feared, according to a study just released.

However, researchers did find a correlation between how teens play the games and their social development.

Children who game together—whether in family basements or after-school clubs—are more likely to volunteer, raise money for a charity or participate politically than those who play alone, according to a report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in Washington.

Sixty-four percent of those who play with others in the room said they have raised money for a charitable cause, for example, compared with 55 percent of those who are in a room alone when they play. The engagement did not appear to be affected by how often the teens played or the types of games they chose.

About two-thirds of teenage gamers said they most often play with others in the room. This counters many stereotypes of gaming as a young boy huddled alone in front of his computer. Nine of every 10 teenagers surveyed said they play some type of video game—a sign of how ubiquitous gaming has become. Despite concerns about sexual and violent content, nine video games sold every second last year, according to the Entertainment Software Association. More than a third of U.S. households now have a gaming console.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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