Study shows teen gaming positives outweigh negatives. Critics ignore study.

Pew Internet have conducted a first of its kind study, surveying over 1000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 about their gaming habits. Ever since we began fending of that alien invasion, there has been controversy about whether video games are good or bad. That controversy has fueled debate, a debate focused on the impact of  video games on the world’s youth.

Although Pew Internet’s survey doesn’t attempt to solve global issues (all participants are American residents), some interesting results do stem – many of which actually paint gaming as having diverse, positive effects on teens. 

Traditionally, the image of a gamer is that of a loner who prefers spending his or her time playing video games over spending time with friends. Our survey refutes this stereotype, revealing that the most avid, frequent gamers are just as communicative and socially engaged as less-active gamers.

 Even when they are not playing games with others, teens talk and engage with others about games—by posting comments on discussion boards and websites or by writing reviews and “walk-throughs” that assist newcomers to a particular game by showing them how to play the game. 

But apparently video games are more than just a great social tool, they can give teens a hands on education on political and ethical issues. 

Those playing games often simulate civic action, help or guide other players, participate in guilds or other groups associated with the game, learn about social issues, and grapple with ethical issues.

A viable source with viable data indicating that video games aren’t the devil – it’s certainly refreshing to see, but despite almost globally positive feedback from the survey, outspoken game industry critic National Institute on Media and the Family responded with the standard copy/paste that’s all too familiar.

 Today’s study by Pew continues to highlight the need for parents to be vigilant regarding their child’s video gaming habits. Games like Haloand Grand Theft Auto will remain popular with teens, despite retailers and the ESRB’s best attempts to keep M-rated games out of kids’ hands. 

It’s odd that GTA has been singled out yet again, especially considering the survey found that (marginally) more teens play Tetris than any iteration of Grand Theft Auto.



The full report can be viewed in PDF form here

Via gamasutra.com



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Playing on Playstation 3

Red Dead Revolver - I paid about $1000 for my launch model PS3, so I guess it's time I get some use out of that emotion chip crammed inside. I remember Red Dead Revolver looking rather good when it was released, and despite the low resolution and odd blurring (that I attribute to playing on a HD set) the game holds up well. It looks good despite these graphical limitations because the art direction is so precise and awesome. And it isn't just the art direction, the music, dialogue and set design (for some reason, set seems a more fitting word than level) all work in tandem to recreate an iconic Wild West atmosphere. Red Dead Revolver doesn’t aim to recreate life in the Wild West, it allows our imagination to take over and populates the locale with legendary men and their legendary stories.

Playing on iPhone

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Playing on PC

Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Generals - Zero Hour - It may be a temporary effect as I slowly reintroduce the PC into my gaming diet, but it seems every title I’m excited to play on the platform is either a strategy game, or a cheap indie game. PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just restricted to titles that require complex input or a pointing device, and games that couldn't be developed or distributed on other platforms. I guess that’s part of the reason the AppStore is so far a success, there were a lot of indie devs stuck on PC for lack of a better alternative.


September 2008
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