EU Report: Video games are acknowledged to be potentially good for kids

I found this draft report on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games (2008/2173(INI)) by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. It does contain some interesting statements about the beneficial effects of videogames, that have been all over the web. Let me quote a few:

"... video games are predominantly non-violent and provide their users with entertainment which often contributes to the development of various skills and
knowledge, ..."

"... video games are a great stimulant which in addition to entertainment can also be used for educational purposes; [the report] takes the view that schools should pay attention to video games and informing children and parents about benefits and disadvantages ..."

"... video games can stimulate learning of facts and skills such as strategic thinking, creativity, cooperation and innovative thinking, ..."

"Moreover, video games can be used for educational purposes and contribute to the development of knowledge and various skills crucial in the 21st century."

Unfortunately these statements are just opinion statements, most of us can probably agree upon. There is no reference to scientific evidence in the report.

While it is important to note that the EU committee acknowledges the potential benefits of video games, the report describes the need for mechanisms to make sure that minors are not exposed to video games designed for adults or a not appropriate age group.

In a way the report is quite disappointing for educators. An analoguous report would read: Printed matter can be of great value in education. Some printed matter is also produced with adults in mind. Now we have to find a way to ensure that minors are only exposed to age appropriate printed matter. Whow! Basically this report can be reused for any kind of media.


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