What should I do about video games on playdates?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My son is entering 3rd grade and is an only child. When he has playdates at his friends’ homes, sometimes the moms allow video games above my son’s age level, usually because my son’s friends have older siblings. It makes me uncomfortable, but I’ve noticed that a lot of parents don’t appreciate it when I ask that they not play any video games during the playdate—it’s viewed as trying to control what happens in their home, or as some judgment upon them for allowing the younger child to play age-inappropriate games. I don’t want to tell my son he can never go to their houses, so do you have any advice? I usually try to have kids over to my house so that it’s not an issue, but at some point, the other parents want my son to come to their home.

Research Wrap-Up: Recently Published Studies on Children, Media and Health- August 7, 2009.

Posted under Research Blog.

Here is a list of recently published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: Early Childhood Care, 179(6), August 2009 Special Issue: Music in the early years: Research, theory and practice. Jenssen, B.P., Klein, J.D., Salazar,L.F., Daluga, N.A., DiClemente , R.J. (2009). Exposure to tobacco on the internet: Content analysis… Read more »

Using Digital Games to Improve Children’s Learning and Health

Posted under Research Blog.

How can we best use digital games to improve children’s learning and health?  A new report entitled Game Changer: Investing in digital play to advance children’s learning and health, by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, tackles this question with renewed vigor. Digital games have been shown to aid in learning in particular… Read more »

Will Technology in the Classroom Change How Kids Learn?

Posted under Research Blog.

How and whether to use technology in K-12 classrooms is a highly debated topic. Although it is far from the norm in K-12 around the country, however, some educators are exploring the possibilities of classroom use of educational video games. Virginia recently became the first state with a pilot program that uses Tabula Digita's video… Read more »

Don’t Warn Parents about Harmful Effects of Video Game Violence?

Posted under Research Blog.

In early January, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) reintroduced a bill in the California Congress that would require all video games rated T (Teen) or higher to include a label that reads “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.” The Entertainment Consumers Association has responded to… Read more »

Video Games Poised for Takeover

Posted under Research Blog.

Mike Griffith, president and CEO of Activision (makers of wildly popular video game Guitar Hero), proclaimed in a recent press conference that video games are "poised to eclipse all other forms of entertainment in the decade ahead." While sales of music, movie tickets, and DVDs have all dropped in the past 4 years, video game… Read more »

Wii Wand Doesn’t Increase Aggression…but Violent Video Games Do

Posted under Research Blog.

After the release of “Manhunt II” for the Wii–in which players use a motion-detecting wand to punch, stab, and dismember other characters–many experts expressed concern over the potential effects of reinforcing such violent movements in video game play. A study soon to be published in Computers and Human Behavior, however, did not find that using… Read more »

Increased Fears about Video Game Addiction

Posted under Research Blog.

November 13 brought the release of "World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King," an expansion of the hugely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). According to the Telegraph, lines started forming 18 hours before the midnight release in London. This popularity has helped renew concerns about video game addiction. The game’s release… Read more »

More Links Between Violent Media and Aggression

Posted under Research Blog.

Over the past 50 years, research has linked violent media exposure to increased aggression in young people. This month’s Pediatrics adds two new studies to the mix: one on Internet violence and one on violent video games. Both recommend reducing or eliminating youth exposure to violent media. One study found a link between being exposed… Read more »