ERIC Number: ED365477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Video Games and Children. ERIC Digest.
This digest examines data on video game use by children, explains ratings of video game violence, and reviews research on the effects of video games on children and adolescents. A recent study of seventh and eighth graders found that 65% of males and 57% of females played 1 to 6 hours of video games at home per week, and 38% of males and 16% of females played 1 to 2 hours of games per week at arcades. This study also found that, among five categories of video games, games that involved fantasy violence and sports games (many with violent themes) were most preferred by the students surveyed. Systems for rating the violent content of video games have been developed by the Sega and Nintendo companies, and by the National Coalition on Television Violence (NCTV). A 1989 survey of video games conducted by NCTV found that 71% of the games received 1 of 3 violent ratings. Contrary to early research, recent studies on the effects of video games on children have found connections between children's playing violent games and later aggressive behavior. A research review done by NCTV in 1990 found that 9 of 12 studies on the impact of violent games on children reported harmful effects. Some professionals speculate that performing violent acts in video games may be more conducive to children's aggression than passively watching violent acts on television. Another problem cited by critics of video games is that these games stress autonomous rather than cooperative action. Furthermore, children's attitudes toward gender roles may be influenced by video games, in which women are usually cast as persons who are acted upon, rather than as initiators of, action. Given the inconclusive nature of research, recommendations concerning video games must be conservative. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.