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Cooney Center Report Urges Increased Spending on Youth Gaming Research

Cooney Center Report Urges Increased Spending on Youth Gaming Research

June 24, 2009 | By Danny Cowan

June 24, 2009 | By Danny Cowan
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The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop released a study highlighting video gaming's positive effects on American children. The report urges increased federal and philanthropic spending on youth gaming research and development.

The study, titled Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children's Learning and Health, notes that gaming's many beneficial effects often go overlooked.

"Despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children gain content and vital foundational and 21st-century skills," the report reads. "Digital games can also be effective in improving children's health -- from physical fitness and health promotion to disease management."

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center's report cites Konami's Dance Dance Revolution as an effective physical fitness motivator. The Asthma Files and Re-Mission are named as noteworthy titles in the disease management genre.

The study claims that further investment from a number of sources can help to explore the full breadth of gaming's positive impact on American youth.

"All groups committed to the public interest -- educators, policymakers, the federal government, industry leaders, philanthropies, universities -- should invest resources in learning how to maximize the impact of a potentially powerful phenomenon that can advance both children’s learning and health," the report states.

"Experts in the field of digital learning interviewed for this study concluded that digital games have strong potential: Kids love playing them, but the research has not fully demonstrated with precision why or how they work, as well as how to design them for specific learning goals. Until more is known, our nation cannot fully harness their benefits."

The full text of the report can be found at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center's website.


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