I’m glad to see that there is a growing sensibility towards video games in the culture …
From the Entertainment Software Association press release:
Video games help teach children important life skills like strategic thinking, teamwork, cooperation and creativity according to a report commissioned by the European Union (EU) last month. Toine Manders, a member of the European parliament from The Netherlands, drafted the report for the legislative body’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.
“We heard evidence from experts on computer games and psychologists from France, the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands,” said Manders, “And they told us that video games have a positive contribution to make to the education of minors.”
Indeed, many of the latest and most popular video games on the market incorporate these skills into game play. Games with design elements, such as Sony Computer Entertainment’s LittleBigPlanet and Electronic Arts’ Spore, thrive on their players’ creative capabilities. In multiplayer online games such as Eidos Interactive’s Age of Conan, players must rely on cooperation and teamwork in order to succeed. And games such as 2K Games’ Civilization Revolution require players to think strategically to advance to new levels.
As a result, the EU announced that video games could contribute to formal education, and even suggested that schools in Europe consider incorporating video games into curricula.
In the United States, the National Education Association arrived at a similar conclusion, pointing to Electronic Arts’ SimCity as one effective way to use video games in the classroom. The industry now looks to other U.S. public and private sector organizations to follow this strong leadership and likewise declare its support for video games as a valuable resource for parents and their children.
This is not to say that there aren’t those who play problematically. Of course, there are. But the phrase “throwing the baby out with the bath water” came about with reason.