Sep 16, 2008

Videogames, Teens, and.... Civic Education?

Videogames have become a serious target for study by researchers. If youhaven't played a video game in years, you might be surprised at the results of a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College.

Major New Study Shatters Stereotype of Teens and Video Games: Game playing is universal, diverse, often involves social interaction, and can cultivate teen civic engagement
- MacArthur Foundation

From the above article:

"A focus of the survey was the relationship between gaming and civic experiences among teens. The goal was to test concerns that gaming might be prompting teens to withdraw from their communities. It turns out there is clear evidence that gaming is not just an entertaining diversion for many teens; gaming can be tied to civic and political engagement. Indeed, youth have many experiences playing games that mirror aspects of civic and political life, such as thinking about moral and ethical issues and making decisions about city and/or community affairs. Not only do many teens help others or learn about a problem in society during their game playing, they also encounter other social and civic experiences:

  • 52% of gamers report playing games where they think about moral and ethical issues.
  • 43% report playing games where they help make decisions about how a community, city or nation should be run.
  • 40% report playing games where they learn about a social issue. "
"Moreover, the survey indicates that youth who have these kinds of civic gaming experiences are more likely to be civically engaged in the offline world. They are more likely than others are to go online to get information about current events, to try to persuade others how to vote in an election, to say they are committed to civic participation, and to raise money for charity."

Teens, Video Games, and Civics pdf
-Pew Internet & American Life

The Civic Potential of Video Games pdf

I'll post more later!
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