Terra Nova has noted that the “Safer Children in a Digital World: the report of the Byron Review” has just come out. It is a discussion of the online worlds and video games in relation to children. I have not read it as of yet, but am quite excited to do so.
Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents, my book which will hopefully be out in the next couple of months, already has its text complete. Something tells me that if this report were around before I had done so, I’d be quoting it all over the place. I’m already looking at it positively when I skim the text and find the following:
“We need to take into account children’s individual strengths and vulnerabilities, because the factors that can discriminate a ‘beneficial’ from a ‘harmful’ experience online and in video games will often be individual factors in the child. The very same content can be useful to a child at a certain point in their life and development and may be equally damaging to another child. That means focusing on the child, what we know about how children’s brains develop, how they learn and how they change as they grow up. This is not straightforward – while we can try to categorize children by age and gender there are vast individual differences that will impact on a child’s experience when gaming or online, especially the wider context in which they have developed and in which they experience the technology.”
I hope to write more thoughts once I get a chance to review the pdf more thoroughly. In the meantime, have a read for yourself.
Addendum: Ars Technica also reports on the review stressing its considerations of the child as an individual and that parents, more than government, need to be the ones influencing their personal gaming and online environments in response to their individual children.
Further Addendum: Other sites with commentary on the report –