Gaming: Teens Do It, Teaching With It, Fostering Civic Engagement

  • Nearly all US teens surveyed now play video games, according to recently released data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew studied children ages 12 to 17 from November 2007 to February 2008. More than one-half of respondents said they played games at least three times per week. Almost all boys (99%) and 94% of girls said they were video gamers.
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  • Educators have occasionally used video games to supplement traditional classroom tools, but the practice is on the rise. Games are seen as an easy access point, where school work can meet kids in a space that they already enjoy playing in. Video games are chosen that have challenges and processes reflecting the subject matter at hand, giving students a more complete immersion in the material.
  • The social interaction, collaboration, decision-making and problem-solving that most US teens experience while playing computer, console, or cell-phone games may lead to more active engagement in civil and political life, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project study.
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