times a year, the Pew Internet & American Life Project releases detailed
research findings about the ways in which we Americans use computers and the
wait till you hear what the latest Pew report has to say.
called Teens, Video Games, and Civics.
seems that playing video games has a connection to what the report calls social
interaction and civic engagement.
Imagine that! Playing games like
Dragon Quest, Guitar Hero, or Warhammer on their computers or game consoles
leads to community involvement.
surprisingly, the researchers report that 97 percent of teens play computer
games, usually for an hour or more a day.
They say the social interaction comes from playing the games with others
in the room, as 65 percent of teens do.
role-playing the popular but violent video game Grand Theft Auto with your
buddies can be social interaction. But
finds that video game play parallels civic activities such as helping others
and debating ethical issues. It calls
these civic gaming experiences.
researchers determined that teens who play video games with others seek more
information about politics, are a tad more likely to raise money for charity,
or may persuade others how to vote, than teenagers who don't play video games
or who play them by themselves.
what's the lesson for parents who want to get their kids involved in the
community? Go out and get them that
Halo Three or Dance Dance Revolution video game? And make sure they invite some friends over to play it with? Or here's a radical community-involvement
idea for young video game players: get out of your computer chairs and go
volunteer to help others in the real world.