March 23, 2010
Some of this is sort of old (in Internet time, at least), but I’ve been trying hard to get all of my work for the next week and a half done before I leave for PLA and neglecting my RSS feeds, so it’s all new to me!
100 Scope Notes had a great post earlier this month with book spine poetry. I love these!
Just Ask Marlene announces that Hilary Duff has signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster beginning with ELIXIR. “Hillary tells her fans that she loves reading great adventure books, especially ones like Elixir that feature a strong, inspiring female character.” Look for ELIXIR this October or preorder at Amazon now.
And finally, Amanda Gardner at BusinessWeek writes that “boys who own a video game system don’t do as well academically as their non-playing peers,” but the study author, Robert Weis, clarifies:
“we can never say with 100 percent certainty that it’s playing video games that causes kids to have delays or deficits in reading and writing performance, but … we can be pretty confident that it’s the game ownership and the amount of time they spend playing that causes these academic delays.”
I feel the need to rise to video games’ defense. Lots of things from chess to rock music has been branded the downfall of our youth and video games are just the latest form of entertainment to add to the list. Any hobby–sports or gaming or even reading–will take away from academic study time. Should kids give up all of their hobbies just because it’d give them more time to spend on school? Hobbies are beneficial for so many reasons (they help us develop socially, they help us develop other skills, and they give us something to do to get a break from our work at the very least) and in fact, the Department of Defense published a news item earlier this year about the benefits of video gaming.
Furthermore, the study population was boys whose families didn’t own video game systems, so it’s possible that the time the boys spent on gaming would level off as they played for a while and having video games in their own homes wasn’t an exciting new thing anymore. The study also found that reading and writing scores dropped, but that math scores remained consistent, so it’s not just a matter of time spent on video games that could be spent on studying.
I’m not saying that playing video games is always good or that there are only benefits and no drawbacks, but knee-jerk “gaming is bad” reactions and headlines to studies with more nuance drive me crazy. The truth, as usual, is probably not in one extreme or the other, but rather somewhere in the middle.
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