For those of you in the San Francisco area, I was interviewed for NBC News, and the piece is allegedly airing tonight, Monday the 22nd at 11pm, on KNTV Bay Area Channel 11. I was interviewed about a new study on the potential positive sides of video games.* They wanted an Educational Psychologist's take on the study, so here you go.
While the popular media tends to portray this as, “Video Games are Good!” the main point of the new study is that there's a lot of diversity in the kinds of games teens play and that paying attention to the qualities of their experiences while playing games is important. It contends that we need to move beyond the games-are-good/games-are-bad arguments and think about how kids are spending their time when playing video games rather just whether and how much they're playing.
One interesting finding was that some video game play is providing opportunities to think about social issues and develop civic skills (leading groups, helping others, making decisions about how a city is run) and this appears to be related to real-life civic and political activity.