CBS News: Video Games Might Actually Be Good For Kids

As GamePolitics noted yesterday, newsman Daniel Sieberg is reporting a three-part series, "The Games Our Children Play," this week on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

The first installment ran last evening and featured Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Earlier yesterday Pew released Teens, Video Game & Civics, a comprehensive study on the role of games in the lives of modern American youth. Said Lenhart:

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… 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.

GP: It is a significant moment for video gaming when a network news program begins to wonder if games are actually a positive force. Maybe especially when it’s this network news program, since anchor Katie Couric has generally been dismissive of games in the past. 

Chalk the newfound respect up to the Pew study, which will go a long way toward establishing positive buzz for gaming among traditional media outlets as well as mainstream, non-gaming types in government and academia.

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  1. ryan, capable of thinking and jack isn't says:

    After all the moronic lies, slander, libel, harrassment, death threats, gay porn and confessions to your love of child abuse that YOU sent us for over 5 years, Jack, you honestly think we will believe anything you say? That we should be the ones apologizing to you? Sheesh, you truly are disgustingly retarded. You can’t even make up a convincing lie about having a heart condition – those require one to have a heart, anusface.

  2. Catch 33 says:

    Hmm, haven’t seen him do this in awhile.

    See, this is the Jacky Boy we get when he’s, how you say…sedated. Still an asshole, but more like the asshole we knew a very long time ago, before he seemed to finally reveal his insanity.

    The bottom line is, Jacky Boy will say absolutely anything to annoy any of us, because 1) He gets attention, and 2) He doesn’t have anything better to do. Despite his denials, he knows his career as an attorney is toast. That isn’t going to stop him from being a maniacal asshole, but at least he’s suffered some consequences for his behavior.

  3. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "You are the champions of the pollution of our culture and of an entire generation whom the vast majority of American adults don’t want sold GTA if they’re under 17."


    Then those people shouldn’t let their children have those games.  As for other people’s children, piss on them, they have no say on what another’s child can or can’t do.  Games such as GTA shouldn’t be in the hands of those under 17, but there is a way to do that without the government oppressing its people any further.  Its called fucking parenting.

  4. JustChris says:

    You can’t seem to get it through your head that nobody here is opposed to keeping M-rated games out of the hands of children. What we’re divided on is the APPROACH to how that should happen. 

    Your defensive manuever is to sue a game company when one of their customers breaks this rule or commits a crime. It’s a typical carpenter-solves-problem-with-hammer response. You think you are getting to the root of the problem, but going as far down the line as the game publishers actually bypasses the root and into irrelevancy. Game publishers are not responsible to how retail stores do their business. Only the stores themselves are responsible. Though I am not one for quick lawsuit, if I had to choose between suing GameStop or Take Two, then suing GameStop would be a more effective choice.

    That’s just an example of a single store chain, but all stores need to conduct themselves in a better manner, so sorry that it’s not as simple as suing just one company or store. You try for a single, major centralized attack when the sources of the problems are decentralized.

  5. DarksideX says:

    "Of course video games can be good for kids.  Depends on the game.  Nobody in his right mind thinks otherwise."
    – Jack Thompson, Sept. 17, 2008

    "Actually… "normal person" and "average gamer" are mutually exclusive terms, but you wouldn’t know. Jack Thompson (game-free since a trip to Betty Ford Clinic)."
    – Apr. 29, 2006 (

    Jack, do I really need to explain how you’ve contradicted yourself?  Wait – maybe I do, since you implicitly questioned your own sanity:

    Paraphrased, you said that you’d have to be out of your mind to deny that games can be good for kids.  Two years ago, you claimed that an average gamer cannot be a normal person.  Since you adamantly deny that the average gamer is in his/her thirties and insist that the average gamer is a kid, you imply that an average kid who plays games cannot be normal.  If games can be good for kids, but kids can’t be normal if they play games… well, you’ve just asserted that you’re out of your mind.

    Couple that with your claim to being "the only certifiably sane lawyer in Florida", and it becomes obvious that at least one of the statements you have made over the years is blatantly untrue.  Guess which one.

    If you can’t recognize your own contradictory statements, you really shouldn’t be a lawyer (unless you really don’t mind poking holes in your own argument).

    "This is not rocket science. When a kid who has never killed anyone in his life goes on a rampage and looks like the Terminator, he’s a video gamer."

    "Nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer."



  6. Attack_Gypsy says:

    Actually, in almost everything you said there, I agree with you, Mr. Thompson.

    Until you said "wake up." Then you started insulting people.

    I agree that GTA shouldn’t be sold to anyone under 17. The stores, for the most part, are doing well. Could they do better? Of course. But then, how often does beer get sold to minors? It happens. And as harsh as it gets, there will be unscrupulous people who will sell it anyways.

    But my one question is, where are the parents? And why does a kid have over 50 bucks in his pocket? I surely never got that kind of money. I had what was considered a high allowance, and it was 3 bucks. Do parents just abrograte their responsibility these days? No, they do not. and any who do should have their children taken from them.



    The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~ Benjamin Franklin

  7. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    The real issue is this:  Stop selling and marketing mature-rated games to kids under 17.  That’s the whole debate right there. 

    No, the real reason is YOU WANT ATTENTION. You don´t care for nobody and you give crap for the children. You stop pretending to be a useful person. Nobody cares about your stupid crusade.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  8. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Still, I don’t think they are talking about most sold here. I think they are talking about most played. Most puzzle games are free online and are played quite often.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  9. sortableturnip says:

    Tell me about it!  If they don’t stop showing that "It isn’t summer/fall until you drink a Bud Light Lime" commercial, I’m going to go insane!

  10. Shoehorn O'Plenty says:

    "Stop selling and marketing mature-rated games to kids under 17."

    Bring it up with the retailers, the only people who can change this. If a bar near you served a 15 year old kid a pint of Budweiser, would you complain to the bar owner or try and bring a lawsuit against the brewery? If your local 7-11 sold a pack of cigarettes to a kid, would you complain to the store owner.manager, or would you jump to suing or threatening the manufacturer? These may sound silly, but it’s exactly what you are doing with your threatening mails to Take Two, going straight to the source of these products, while completely ignoring the people who are distributing them without diligence and adherence to the age ratings. Strauss Zelnick, rich and influential as he is, cannot wave a magic wand and prevent the slacker cashier at gamestop who is bored and wants to get home from work, from selling a copy of GTA to a kid without carding them? He can’t prevent parents from ignoring the ratings and buying the games for their kids.

  11. Mattie says:

    Jack, it comes down to the parents at the end of the day. Parents who are educated about what their kids play is what you can’t stand above all else. It means less people will fall for your bullshit lies.

  12. Baruch_S says:

    This post seems a little out of character for Jack. No threats, no (nasty) insults, no claims that every video game known to man turns children into serial killers. He even refered to "site owners" instead of taking some sort of jab at Dennis  and refers to himself in the third person in the fourth paragraph. Maybe this is Jack, but the entire thing seems a little fishy.

  13. Geno says:

    I take back what I said after doing a little research.

    My bad.

    Although Puzzle games still aren’t selling the most.

  14. Graze says:

    Jack, can you provide any examples of how "M" rated games are marketed towards childern? I’ve heard you make this claim several times but haven’t seen it myself. Please don’t say TV ads. Beer ads are shown non-stop during Sunday afternoon football games when kids are/could be watching.

  15. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Very few people here have claimed that games have no influence whatsoever. We have said that. However, that influence is not the 1:1 relationship that you like to boast. You like to claim that every person who plays a violent game becomes a violent person. That is not true. Just as if every person who plays a flight sim will not become a pilot.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  16. Brendan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you Pew Study! PEW PEW!

    This is a great moment in gaming! Hopefully this will spark a trend of positive information on video games.

  17. DavCube (can't log in) says:

    Then don’t try to declare things as public nuisances, Mr. Thompson. OR stretch the truth as to a video game console’s technological capabilities. It’s not a computer linking up to a child’s brain. It’s not a textbook. It’s, like… a fairy tale book. Not a virtual reality battlefield, since virtual reality is an impossibility with today’s commercial consoles. Not that YOU’D know, or care.

    Declaring things as public nuisances takes them away from EVERYONE, minor or not. Sue the retailers, not the game makers, for something the makers are NOT responsible for.

    Of course we don’t want them sold directly to children under 17. The parents will make the decision whether or not the individual is ready for the material. Because that’s what parents do. The parents know their children better than the government does.

    We’re the ‘champions of pollution’ of a generation? Open your eyes, Mr. Thompson. For once in your life.

    David "DavCube" Gagnon, Mature Human Being, and You’re Not.

  18. Geno says:

    The most popular games are racing/puzzle/sports?

    I know Madden is really popular but what was the last puzzle game that sold a shit load of copies? Or racing games?

    I can only think of games that were released over 5 years ago. And isn’t the shooter genre selling the most right now?

  19. KayleL says:

    We see your point, but we don’t need the government telling us how to live. What really pisses us gamers off is when you say that video games makes us into criminals.

    I am 17, and been playing rated M games since Half-Life been out. I haven’t committed any crimes, nor fights, nor any aggressive behaviour. If you ask anyone, I am one of the most friendliest, and honest. My grades are great, and the teachers love me. I don’t have a gun, nor know where to get one, nor know how to use one properly. Wow Jack, by you depiction of violent video gamers, I should be the complete opposite.

  20. sortableturnip says:

    Unfortunately, Jack, there’s this thing called the 1st Amendment, which protects the rights of a citizen of the United States from such things.  Mature rated games are not marketed to minors no more than books or movies are.  If you ban video games then you need to ban all forms of media, including television, radio, theatre, etc.  Again, as it has been told to you in the past, it is the responsibility of PARENTS, not the government, to overview and limit what they feel is inappropriate content.

  21. Benjamin Snow says:

    I’m shock this report show only little biase (that only children play video games). 


    It’s day 2.  Let’s see what they’ll have to say tonite.

  22. oooo says:

    Of course video games can be good for kids.  Depends on the game.  Nobody in his right mind thinks otherwise.  Apparently this site and its owner and its readers haven’t been paying attention to what I and others have been saying, so the CBS story comes as some sort of news flash.  Here it is again, as to what we parents and other bright people have been saying for a decade now:

    Video games are powerful teaching tools, for good or ill.  Technology is always neutral.  You can electrify or incinerate a city with nucler fission.  It depends on what you do with technology.

    I just told Penn & Teller that on camera less than 30 minutes ago. 

    The absurd assertion that Jack Thompson and others are opposed to video games per se is simply a red herring that is used to make us look as if we are neanderthals or Luddites.

    The real issue is this:  Stop selling and marketing mature-rated games to kids under 17.  That’s the whole debate right there.  It is not about video games, which are terrific teaching tools.  They can teach good or they can teach bad.  Wake up.  CBS is reporting nothing that I and others didn’t already know.  And stop pretending to be the champions of Liberty here.  You are the champions of the pollution of our culture and of an entire generation whom the vast majority of American adults don’t want sold GTA if they’re under 17.  Period.  Jack Thompson

  23. SW says:

    That story was influenced by the porn industry!  No, j/k, that was just in response to sortableturnip…

    I doubt this report will singlehandedly turn around academia anytime soon.  There are a few folks there…Anderson, Bushman, Gentile, etc., who have staked their reputation on the games = evil belief and aren’t going to back off of that in their lifetimes.  The best to hope for is that the next batch of researchers will prove to be more even-headed and objective, although it could take decades to really see a lot of change in academia.



  24. Xlorep DarkHelm says:

    For what it is worth, the PEW Internety report was specifically targetting teens, and that was the basis for CBS’ coverage.

    "I’m not responcabel fer my comuter’s spleling errnors." — Xlorep DarkHelm

  25. DavCube (can't log in) says:

    Well, hey, let’s admit it: Video games ARE, by definition toys. Not all toys are for kids, video games or no, but they ARE toys. However, when one thinks of toys, one thinks of children’s toys first, right? It’s not politically correct, but it’s true.

    While i share your pain about it, (and its something that anti-VG people should definitely attempt to grasp their mind around sometime this century….) it’s something to think about.

  26. Tubatic ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    " . . .go to the experts"

    ::cut to two girls in 7th grade::

    Not to get all gamer elitist or anything, but doesn’t that still push this "Games are for Kids" mentality?  I get the relevance in the context of reporting on the study, but it still sounds like the same song in a different key.

  27. DavCube (can't log in) says:

    Did you just decide not to read where i said "not all toys are for adults?" Why do you think those have the word ‘sex’ in front of them? It’s a different situation. M-rated games = not children’s toys. Most games are under that rating, correct?

    I said when people think of ‘toys’ they think of children’s variety. Different within each context of course, but come on, that’s how the world thinks.

  28. Flamespeak says:

    Dildo are toys too, by definition, somehow I doubt they would ask a couple of young girls "Are dildos cool?"

  29. potatojones83 says:

    You forgot to mention that he’ll also probably say that Mrs. Lenhart was paid off by the same ECA overlords who try to censor, silence and discredit him through their favorite censor Dennis and his ECA bought and paid for site 🙂

    Oh, and he’ll throw in something about how he’s winning and we’re not and ask "Is this a great country or what?". Remember, this is a guy who claimed victory based on a one-panel political cartoon that, at best, was saying ALL media today is too violent.

  30. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, it is that we are the future of their audiance if they like it or not VS the industry that is raping them of rating…  They will have to live with the existance of the game industry, might as well embrace it.

  31. Baruch_S says:

    Jack will probably just say they were paid off by T2 or some other game-related group. Still, it’s nice to see that the media might finally be facing the real facts about video games. It’s about time games were accepted by culture.

  32. Overcast says:

    Possibly – but CBS isn’t. I can state that from personal experience, I grew up in the 70’s, when a local UHF channel or two and the three major networks, CBS, ABC, NBC was all that was really out there to watch.

    The horrible sitcoms and crap they broadcast back then burnt a hole in my brain I think. It’s why I’m addicted to video games now, and almost never watch TV. I can only hope the scar tissue heals and I never, ever, ever, have to watch a re-run of any of those 70’s sitcoms….

  33. HarmlessBunny says:

    I am a little shocked and surprised (in a pleasant way) about the sudden positive coverage of video gaming in the media. For years they have been railing against video games and gamers, with a good exception of a few. Suddenly a wave of positive and accurate coverage is rolling through? It is one of the best things we could have asked for. Raving lunatics and idiots like Jack Thompson for years have outright lied and used the unknown to scare people into believing that ‘video games cause violence’….we are living proof that is incorrect. Video games have not made us into killers or violence craving junkies. Merely, we are just regular folks living regular lives. Hopefully someday the rest of them will see it, however I’ll take pride in this one positive moment.

    Thanks CBS, for the positive light!

  34. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, this kind of media coverage happened quicker than expected.  Won’t expect it to become a trend for a few more years, though.  You know, not until more gamers become part of NBC’s target demographic.

    Wonder how much longer before Jackie-boy comes trollin’ over to this topic.  Poor guy must feel left out since a news program decided to do a piece on video games without him.

    Let’s see…he’ll come on, make some lame sarcastic remark in a failed attempt to be clever, talk about "research" and "studies" that prove his point although he won’t cite sources even though it is "groundbreak proof", and then finish it off with some comment about Columbine.  If he’s feeling particularly chipper this morning, he might even throw in an insult or threat to gamers while he’s at it.  Hey, Jack’s rants are like Madlibs, only with a large dose of actual madness!

  35. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    First Comment ROFL. (EDIT: Shit.)

    I can’t wait for Jack to start railing CBS. PREPARE FOR THE BIRTH OF MORE LULZ!!!

    "It’s Game Time!" -Captain Gamer



  36. the1jeffy says:

    I wonder if the dinosaur of MSM realized they were alienating their future audience.

    Actually I think the idea that video games can be good for kids is now ‘shocking’ to mainsteam sentiment, that this story will be a hit.

    Either way, it’s a positive chnage, but let’s not start gushing CBS with praise.  They are still every bit as biased as the other MSM ‘news’ sources, and that bias starts with whatever boosts ratings.  What until the next school shooting – CBS will be all over that as if this story never happened.

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

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