Think video games make kids antisocial? Think again.

Just a short note about a fascinating Pew Internet Project paper that came out today.  An online copy of the report – titled “Teens, Video Games, and Civics” – is available here:

http://www.pewinternet.org/2008/09/16/teens-video-games-and-civics/

Here are two of its most interesting revelations, IMO:

97% of teens (ages 12-17), including 99% of boys and 94% of girls, play video games

This statistic should be a wake-up call to anyone looking to ban and/or strictly legislate video game usage.  Gaming is here to stay.  We can’t uninvent games or pretend they don’t exist.  All children, regardless of gender, race, or location, are probably playing a video game at least once a week.

Gaming is a surprisingly social activity

65% of game-playing teens play with other people who are in the room with them, while 27% play games with people who they connect with through the internet.  Only 11% of teens play video games solely by themselves.  (Personally, I hope this statistic is a wake-up call to game developers.  Co-op modes are a still a huge selling point!)

Frankly, the whole report is worth a read, including the (surprising!) section on civic gaming experiences.

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4 thoughts on “Think video games make kids antisocial? Think again.”

  1. That is just what I would expect from a game addict like yourself. You know there are 3 types of lies in the world . . . Lies, Damn Lies and statistics. Oh well form one addict to the other I say lets keep it up anyway.

  2. I also like to point out that gaming improves reflexes and rapid image cognition. Ever wonder why you are faster at finding the icon on a computer screen that others? It’s nice to know that I have more excuses to play now.

  3. I completely agree with you! I’m a girl gamer, and video games are a major part of my life. =]

    For one, I can read a few paragraphs way faster than anyone else in the room, especially with dialogue in games. And like Ryan said, finding things on a computer comes way easier to a gamer than non-gamers.

    Video games are fun, and I usually play with my friends or online. It definitely isn’t an antisocial environment.

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