Wednesday, 17 Sep, 2008 Science
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Computer Games Help Youngsters Be More Social

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The results of Pew Internet research of American teenagers showed that the majority of youngsters prefer playing computer games with friends and communities rather than alone, which leads to the conclusion that games make teenagers more social.

Researchers studied 1,102 teenagers aged between 12 and 17. They discovered that a lot of teenagers played educational games in order to learn more about world issues and be involved in politics.

Playing computer games became a universal past time activity among US teens, with about 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls playing some kind of computer game. A report revealed that Guitar Hero was the most popular title, followed by Halo 3 and Madden NFL. Among other popular titles there is Solitaire, and Dance Dance Revolution.

According to Amanda Lenhart, who holds the position of a senior research specialist at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and who is the author of the report, teenagers play a wide variety of video and computer games, including games about solving problems and those where you go out and drive things or play a sport.

She mentioned that if a teen plays video games it doesn't necessary mean that he or she will turn into a loner. In addition, if teenagers play video games every day it won't have any negative impact on their social lives.

"Three quarters of teens actually play these games with other people, whether online or in person. People who game on a daily basis are just as likely to talk on the phone, to email, to spend time with a friend face to face outside of school as kids who play games less," she said.

She noted that youngsters who had to deal with some problems in virtual communities were more likely to raise money for charity, volunteer, stay up-to-date with political issues or convince others to vote.

Based on the results, Lenhart said that parents should watch the games that their children play. She advised to monitor what the kids are doing in the games and search for games that provide opportunities to have "more civically-minded experiences."

Source: BBC

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Comments:

52 votes

//6 Feb 07, 2009 09:03 AM | posted by: Rob [InfoTOT]
What would you rather your kids do, smoke, or play games.
I was an outcast when I was a couple of years younger, due to my inability to socialize without aggravating people constantly, so for a few years I played games in an online community.
Now days I hang out with mates, have no problem helping people out if I see something that needs to be done, and generally know how to have a good time when I'm with people without causing problems.
Know where I learned this?

If you go off and play a computer game with a bunch of random people on the net, then you can just leave the situation and join another if you say or do the wrong thing,
and through that you can learn how to control the things you say around not just people in the "virtual world" but also outside of it.
The only times I think that have had a detrimental effect on me when playing games have been when playing single-player games without a group of people there to play with.

Do you know why you don't hear about the people who play games and turn out just fine?
Its because its boring, just think of these two headlines, and which your going to look at:

"Crazed loner plays game then steals car and crashes into old folks home."

"Anti-Social child plays games and then goes on to lead productive life."
54 votes

//5 Feb 07, 2009 09:00 AM | posted by: Rob
What would you rather your kids do, smoke, or play games.
I was an outcast when I was a couple of years younger, due to my inability to socialize without aggravating people constantly, so for a few years I played games in an online community.
Now days I hang out with mates, have no problem helping people out if I see something that needs to be done, and generally know how to have a good time when I'm with people without causing problems.
Know where I learned this?

If you go off and play a computer game with a bunch of random people on the net, then you can just leave the situation and join another if you say or do the wrong thing,
and through that you can learn how to control the things you say around not just people in the "virtual world" but also outside of it.
The only times I think that have had a detrimental effect on me when playing games have been when playing single-player games without a group of people there to play with.

Do you know why you don't hear about the people who play games and turn out just fine?
Its because its boring, just think of these two headlines, and which your going to look at:

"Crazed loner plays game then steals car and crashes into old folks home."

"Anti-Social child plays games and then goes on to lead productive life."
51 votes

//4 Jan 31, 2009 08:58 PM | posted by: snsuresh [InfoMANIAC]
Computer games may be useful, but they can hardly develop spiritual world of a teenager, his feelings and attitudes as well as his psychological stability. Yeah, teenagers deal with different problems in virtual communities, but what about their behaviour outside these communities?How can a person shooter make one more sociable?Computer games are similar to drugs. Once you try it you get addicted to it. To my mind, any kind of addiction is harmful. Besides that it was proved that while playing man's brain involves just visual and motor nerves which causes decrease of intellectual activity. Teens get used to their virtual lives and consider that reality is not so important. They feel comfortable hiding behind various images which finally makes them lose their own face. When they're forced to face the reality they become deadlocked, because they see that people react differently, they're not programmed super heroes. In this case if they don't find support of their parents and friends, the only way out is suicide. I'd advise parents to involve their kids in real activities.
54 votes

//3 Oct 04, 2008 03:08 PM | posted by: summer_rain [InfoMANIAC]
Totally agree with this. Not even worth mentioning the fact that computer games are a great loss of time, because they cannot be limited just to a few minutes one can decide to spend at first. These few minutes always turn into a lot more, they really are addictive. So what if they make teenagers more sociable??? Instead they have a greater negative impact on their minds...
49 votes

//2 Oct 03, 2008 03:47 PM | posted by: sharaeff [InfoMANIAC]
Yeah, teenagers deal with different problems in virtual communities, but what about their behaviour outside these communities?How can a person shooter make one more sociable?Computer games are similar to drugs. Once you try it you get addicted to it. To my mind, any kind of addiction is harmful. Besides that it was proved that while playing man's brain involves just visual and motor nerves which causes decrease of intellectual activity. Teens get used to their virtual lives and consider that reality is not so important. They feel comfortable hiding behind various images which finally makes them lose their own face. When they're forced to face the reality they become deadlocked, because they see that people react differently, they're not programmed super heroes. In this case if they don't find support of their parents and friends, the only way out is suicide. I'd advise parents to involve their kids in real activities. Computer games may be useful, but they can hardly develop spiritual world of a teenager, his feelings and attitudes as well as his psychological stability.
50 votes

//1 Sep 17, 2008 07:31 PM | posted by: alcotrazz [InfoMANIAC]
well, it actually does make some kind of sense... thought some idiots go and kill people offline, after the offline victime had made a victim of the killer online... the offline revenge is harsher that the online revenge anyway!

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