05.12.11

Professor tackles simplistic approach to games for kids as "good" or "bad"

An Iowa State professor wants to muddy the waters on how we think about games being “good” or “bad” for kids.  He says there are at least five dimensions on which video games can affect players simultaneously — amount of play, content of play, game context, structure of the game, and the mechanics of game play.

“It is possible to argue that this relation might be due to the children themselves, rather than to game time,” Gentile reports. “It is likely that children who perform more poorly at school are likely to spend more time playing games, where they may feel a sense of mastery that eludes them at school. Nonetheless, every hour playing games is one not spent doing homework.”

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