Video gaming is a fact of life for nearly every American teen. And a new study says it may actually be good for them. This information comes from CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg from the series: "The Games Our Children Play."
Today's study of 1,102 teens shows that almost all teens - 97 percent - play video games, that kids often play with someone else (65 percent).
Yes, video games are “cool”. But what's cool for parents is that a study finds that all that time in front of a screen isn't such a bad thing.
"I think we have this image that people who play games are playing them alone in a dark basement and in fact what we found is that the majority of teens engage with other people most of the time," said Amanda Lenhart, of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which supported the study.
"Kids are talking with each other, helping each other, sharing knowledge together," said Connie Yowell of the MacArthur Foundation, which also supported the study. "It's really peer-based learning going on.
That's because playing games often involves problem-solving, achieving goals or overcoming obstacles - skills that educators applaud.
"There's a real promise here to harness the enthusiasm of young people for games and to use that to help them learn things more effectively in the classroom," Lenhart said.
Many parents are concerned about the violence factor found in some of these games, such as HALO. There are “myths” about how these games turn kids into killers. These myths are basically just that – myths. Check out this article posted on PBS web site:
Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked - http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html
FamilyResource.com posted a great article on some of the negative aspects of video gaming, with the main problem being “addiction”. So we should certainly monitor what our kids are playing, and limit that time to what you consider reasonable. I have personally found that when taking away the Xbox from my kids (as a form of discipline) gets them moody for a day. However, after a couple of days, they return to normal, and almost don’t miss it at all. Obviously, the whole cycle starts again when they get the game back!
So parents, relax. You may not get it, or like it, but your kids are learning more than how to smash dinosaurs.