Report: Video Games Good For Kids, Deserve Official Support

June 25, 2009 -

A new report published by the Joan Ganz Clooney Center at Sesame Workshop discusses the potentially positive effects of video games in educating children and promoting their physical well-being.

Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children’s Learning and Health urges educators as well as government and the healthcare industry to look beyond the stereotype of video games as harmful. The report also calls for increased investment in the medium:

All groups committed to the public interest—educators, policymakers, the federal government, industry leaders, philanthropies, universities—should invest resources in learning how to maximize the impact of a potentially powerful phenomenon that can advance both children's learning and health.

Because a large percentage of American youth play video games, increased investment in their positive aspects could reap enormous benefits for the next generation, the report concludes. The authors note, however, that video games are under constant scrutiny due to their perceived negative effects:

Despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children gain content and vital foundational and 21st century skills.

While noting that some stakeholders have reservations about investing in video game tech because of the perceived sedentary nature of games and potential links to rising childhood obesity rates, the report notes the popularity of  the Wii and Dance Dance Revolution. Nintendo’s popular console and Konami’s best-selling dance game franchise have helped to alter perceptions about negative physical effects of video games.

The authors also point to a number of well-established examples illustrating the potentially beneficial effects video games could have on the education and health of future American generations:

Digital games are here to stay and offer the country a rare opportunity to leverage children's already established enthusiasm in order to reform education and promote healthy development.

Via: Kotaku

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab the full Game Changer report here. Grab the executive summary here.

GP: With this article we welcome Doug Buffone to the pages of GamePolitics. Doug, a student at Georgetown, is interning with GP's parent company, the Entertainment Consumers Association.

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Report: U.K. Health Campaign Will Tout Benefits of Active Games

April 24, 2009 -

Last month's controversy over a British government health agency ad which appeared to link video games to childhood obesity has subsided.

But beyond that, MCV UK reports that today the government's Change4Life organization will launch a campaign touting the benefits of active gaming.

Presumably, that would include the likes of Nintendo's Wii as well as multi-platform titles like Dance Dance Revolution (see screenshot from new ad at left). MCV quotes Minister for Public Health Dawn Primarolo:

Active video games, where kids need to jump up and down or dance about as part of the game, are a great way to get kids moving more.

Little bits of activity like this, throughout the day can easily add up to the 60 active minutes kids need. But our survey shows that at the moment our kids just aren’t getting up and about enough.

UPDATE: The new Change4Life ad, which at one point depicts a character playing a DDR -like game, can be seen here.

16 comments

North Dakota's 1st Lady Plays Guitar Hero... Legislators Fail at DDR

February 6, 2009 -

Bismarck's KYFR-5 reports that North Dakota's First Lady Mikey Hoeven (sporting the big hair at left) has played a bit of Guitar Hero. And the wife of Gov. John Hoeven (R) isn't bad at Dance Dance Revolution, either.

News of Mrs. Hoeven's gaming chops leaked during an American Heart Association event at the State Capitol. KYFR reports that legislators who gave DDR a try didn't fare nearly as well as the First Lady:

Sen. Dwight Cook knows a thing or two about North Dakota politics, but there was one thing going on at the capitol today that was over his head.

"It's not easy, it`s not easy at all," Cook says.

The response most legislators had after testing out Dance, Dance Revolution... Unfortunately, legislators weren`t so enthused about the high-tech workout.

"Most of them, I think, are a little shy or shy away from it because of the technology, I think they`re afraid like `Oh is this going to move too fast for me?` And `I can`t do this,`" says [gym teacher Tammi] Doppler...

First Lady Mikey Hoeven was among the top scoring in the political sector. But she admits, she had the upper hand as the concept of the game isn`t new because she`s played Guitar Hero.

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prh99It's not unusual for community guidelines to conflict with content served to said community. Of course the idea is to try and keep user from using those words as weapons against each other.04/21/2015 - 5:36pm
IronPatriotGTA to players: Do as we say, not as we do. Wait... don't do as we say, either.04/21/2015 - 4:32pm
Daniel LewisBy the big 3 i mean the three console developers,sony,microsoft and nintendo04/21/2015 - 4:30pm
InfophileThe filter also misses a lot of slang from non-American dialects of English. I'd go on to list a bunch here that I've learned since living in Scotland, but... well, let's just say "dogging" has a much different meaning over here.04/21/2015 - 4:11pm
ConsterI know about gash's meaning (I googled it prior to my comment, I just meant I can't really see myself ever using it like that). What do you mean with 'the big three', though?04/21/2015 - 3:52pm
Daniel LewisAnd Gash can be used as slang for the female genitalia04/21/2015 - 3:46pm
Daniel LewisActually all the big three are in that list,pretty common place for games to add a filter for words no matter what is used in the game04/21/2015 - 3:44pm
Consterand do people pretend to be software developers a lot or something?04/21/2015 - 3:29pm
Consterapparently 'gash' is also slang nowadays? I just know it as an injury type. Also, how come 'bisexual' is on the list but 'lesbian' (when properly spelled) isn't?04/21/2015 - 3:28pm
E. Zachary Knighthttp://kotaku.com/nintendo-and-other-banned-words-i-cant-use-in-grand-th-169924759704/21/2015 - 2:59pm
E. Zachary KnightGTA 5, a game that uses a vast array of swears, racist and sexist language in the dialog of the game, bans people from using those sames words along with a vast number of others, including 'Nintendo'. 04/21/2015 - 2:58pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/04/21/2015 - 1:58pm
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Classic shell ^_~04/21/2015 - 1:56pm
Matthew Wilson@zipp I dont like the star menu taking up the whole dam screen, so just getting the start menu back will be worth it.04/21/2015 - 11:19am
ZippyDSMleeI got a extra HDD I will take win 10 for a spin. see if tis worthwhile heck if I do not have to move colums over in Skyrims creation kit its a keeper!04/21/2015 - 10:53am
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson: Been on win 8.1 a few months the only thing I do not like is compatibility issues with older programs. 10 won't fix that sadly...04/21/2015 - 10:51am
E. Zachary KnightThe US Supreme Court has ruled that the 4th Amendment does offer US citizens some protections. This is a change of pace from other 4th Amendment rulings. http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/21/supreme-court-says-police-violated-4th-a04/21/2015 - 10:35am
E. Zachary KnightNot sure on that specific. But It is slightly annoying, but it can help to clairfy on occasion.04/21/2015 - 10:13am
IvresseCan I just ask out of curiousity why people repeat the title in their shout when it clearly states it in the URL?04/21/2015 - 9:07am
E. Zachary KnightI would say that is true. It drives me nuts when games are patched. The closer the patch is to launch, the worse it is.04/21/2015 - 9:06am
 

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