European Parliament Study Finds Video Games Are Good For Kids
from the put-away-your-moral-panic dept
For the past decade or so, the press and certain politicians have been somewhat successful in building a moral panic about video games and the supposed harm they do to children. The problem is that there’s almost no evidence that this is true — and almost all of the evidence that claims this is true doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Often, the moral panic-inducing results are actually either the researcher or (more likely) the press coming up with a conclusion that does not match with the actual study results.
However, in just the last year, we’ve finally been seeing prominent researchers and politicians start to push back on this notion of video games causing harm. Last year, two Harvard professors came out with a book reviewing all of the research and adding some of their own, all of which showed no evidence that video games made kids violent (in fact, it found that it was the kids who didn’t participate in video games that you should be worried about.
Perhaps even more surprising, though, is that some politicians are now pushing back, as well. A study done in the EU Parliament is now noting that video games are actually good for kids, noting that they can help “stimulate learning of facts and skills such as strategic thinking, creativity, cooperation and innovative thinking, which are important skills in the information society.” The report does, unfortunately, still claim that in some cases violent video games may stimulate violence (though, without much proof), but it’s still surprising to see a political report on video games that sees them as being useful.