Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Games Are Okay For Kids...Sort Of

Sarkeesian finally released a new Tropes video!!! Which I won’t have time to watch for a few days. I say this without disrespect to her, since I get that this instant popularity thing that happened to her has allowed her the opportunity to travel, go to conventions, and speak about the issues of feminism in games and the gaming community. That’s a fantastic chance and I would be doing very much the same thing as her, and heck it’s her livelihood now and it pays the bills. But I wish these videos would release at a steady pace. They seem to be taking much longer then they should, and I wish a reason as to why would accompany them. That’s all.

So, we’ll talk about this new study that says video games are not that bad for kids! Yep. According to the University of Glasglow tracking nearly 11,000 kids, some as young as 5 years old, did not show any behavioral problems from playing video gamesAnd because they had such a large pool of results, the researchers feel really freekin’ confidant about their findings. And this is where we clarify the results: the researches pulled data from a decade long study where they focused on 5-7 year olds. The behavioral outcomes were based on the children’s mothers assessment and included other factors such as family income and television consumption.

They found some links between excess television watching and deteroating behavior, but not between gaming and bad behavior, or ADHD, or emotional problems, or even that there’s a difference in results between boys and girls. The paper has some in-bepth analysis on what it all means, but it doesn’t make sweeping claims that video games are better for kids then other forms of media, rather that the claim of games giving kids behavioral problems is not solid. While the claims going around the internet are grand, this study is a step in the right direction on what researchers can pull from doing large groups versus the 20 kid, stick them in a gray room and watching them and freak them out, that most studies tend to do. More accuracy! This isn't the end-all, be-all for studies about children and video games, but it's a good start for science.

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