View Full Version : BBC asks: Are games making kids smarter?

May 25th, 2008, 00:50
Filed under: Video (http://www.nintendowiifanboy.com/category/video/)

After its laughable coverage (http://www.dsfanboy.com/2008/02/05/bbcs-watchdog-keeping-an-eye-on-2006/) of Brain Training's "discriminatory" stance on accents earlier this year, the BBC had some work to do to get back in our favor. The feature above, aired during Friday's edition of Newsnight in both the UK and North America, does just that.

Rather than automatically accusing videogames of having a negative effect on children (a default position for countless media outlets), the piece suggests that games have helped to produce brighter kids now than at any stage in history. Leading the charge for this side of the debate is Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You (http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Bad-Good-You-Actually/dp/1573223077). Johnson contends that because so much modern media (the internet, interactive television, games) is no longer consumed passively, many children grow up to be "more creative, more dynamic." Later in the piece, he also suggests that games help us to believe that "complex problem-solving is fun."

There's some solid evidence to support Johnson's claims, most notably in the IQ scores of children, which have climbed considerably over the last century. Could computer games truly be assisting in making today's kids the smartest yet? We're not certain there's a conclusive answer to that, but it delights us to see the BBC covering the debate in such a measured fashion.

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