Research Project to Explore Student Gaming Habits

December 2, 2007 -
Three Misericordia University grads are embarking on a study of the gaming habits of 7-12 year olds as part of the research toward their Master's degrees in occupational therapy.

As reported by the Standard-Speaker, the survey, distributed to nearly 4,000 students in the Hazleton, Pennsylvania area, is titled Exploring Children’s Video Game Use. It aims to examine gaming habits, the types and ratings of games preferred, and the accessibility of games amongst elementary students.

Dr. Ellen McLaughlin, interim dean for Health Sciences at the university, approved the project:
With the rapid increases in video gaming, and the emergence of a computer culture, we are beginning to be concerned about how too much time spent in this type of activity might potentially influence other areas of their life.

The 8-page survey asks parents about such things as how much time children spend on social activities, sports, leisure, or work, and whether the child would rather be playing video games instead. Actual game time on weekdays and weekends is also noted. Parents are asked if the child has complete discretion on game use, or whether there are rules or limitations imposed. And finally, the survey wants to know if certain behaviours were observed, such as whether gaming has impacted any relationships the child had.

Superintendent Frank Victor approved the circulation of the surveys, and said he was interested to see how much of an impact there was on local students.

- Reporting from Canada, GP Correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes

Comments

Sorry, to me something doesn't sit right with people who take issue with not only Jack Thompson, but similar industry topics of non-importance such as this one. It's almost going under some pretense of nerd righteousness. Just to let you know guys, gaming isn't going anywhere.

I am optimistic about this. Usually students don't hold the biases of their professors and would be more willing to let the research speak for itself.

I am a little concerned about the Social activities part of this. Would they consider MMO's and Xbox live as social activities?

I'll try to remain optimistic, but I am guessing that it will turn out that games make people apathetic and lazy or something to that effect.

I'm sure once again video games will be disregarded as a social activity.

@Broken Scope:

Judging by the "The 8-page survey asks parents about such things as how much time children spend on social activities, sports, leisure, or work, and whether the child would rather be playing video games instead."

I think they will...

I feel so relived that it's the parents that are gonna answer this, and not the child itself.

/end sarcasm

they'll probably say 100% of the kids are just playing M-rated games.

Sill researchers, parents are too busy to parent.

And some have already made up their minds on this, no matter what any researcher says. Looks like our ex troll gets more ammo.

@kurisu7885

Don't talk about him. I'm enjoying the week away from him.

I'll remain optimistic, because if kids are in fact playing M-rated games...it'll prove that it's because the parents aren't stopping them...

There is some good questions there....but as other readers mentioned.

I'm worried this will turn video games in a negetive light again.

I wonder how this study will turn out :/ ?

"... we are beginning to be concerned about how too much time spent..."

It sounds like they've already got their conclusions in mind.

[...] Research Project to Explore Student Gaming Habits [...]

Aw, shucks, Jumbo, don't spoil their fun. If the gaming community doesn't get riled up about the value of videogaming towards society, then the terrorists win!

Besides, these researchers are grad students. They're doing this as much for the marks as they are for the public benefit. If I were them, I'd hate the extra lens of scrutiny that they're being put under, especially by a community that loves to put bets on what the results are going to be. ($50 on "we don't let Jimmy play the Manhunt but he gets his fix at a friends house." What's a parent to do, eh?)

/sigh.... well this sounds bad in my opinion. When I was this age I mostly did just play games. Not because the evil games made me, but because I wasn't into sports much, didn't have much of a problem being social, then again I was overweight so it wasn't exactly easy either, and work... well, I hate school with a passion, but that has nothing to do with video games. Instead of asking why the children undergo such problems in these areas they seem hellbent on making sure video games are the reason. To say the least, I'm not very optimistic for this research.

I hope they get the survey questions correct. I've seen a lot of poorly worded surveys.

I hope he makes clear that 12 year olds don't represent the average gaming community.

To be honest I am expecting the worst with this one. It could be
a good, unbiased, balanced, well thought out study. But considering
they are only studying young kids (which they may claim to be
the 'average' gamer) and with questions like 'would the kids prefer
to play games or work?', I don't have high hopes.

Who's the guy in the photo? He looks like Dr. Strangelove.

After doing alot in my videogame essay (one that I am still writing on) I am around 50/50 on this,

If the researches are gamers themselves, I would be more positive.

Of the researches are older people who have never played videogames before, then that is when I will be afraid.

Because, from my own research in my essay, sometimes Psychologists only observe the behaviour of children and they focus on an hypothesis and try to see if they can prove it right or wrong.

But in Psychology, it is hard to prove wheather a hypothesis is right or wrong and therefore it is hard to make a generalization.

Sadly when it comes to videogames, many psychological reaserches are sometimes biased because they try to focus on what the game might be doing to a child's behaviour but they don't take in the account of a child's enjoyment of playing videogames.

Unless if they can take that feeling of enjoyment the same way as watching TV or reading a book that shows a similar attention from readers and watches and also gamers who delve into an activity that requires so much attention and focus.

Sadly, if these researches don't take in other aspects like how a certain child might suffer from bullying at school and therefore are afraid of playing sport because of bullying, the researches might manipulate this stereotype of isolation and try to link videogames to isolation when in actural fact it could be school bullying that is more to do with a child's isolation more than being addicted to videogames has.

As a gamer who loved to play sport, I had been teased and bullied when I was in school and to tell you the truth, videogames made me stronger and that is why I love videogames and I would always say that school bullying has more to do with a child's isolation more than just videogames themselves.

Sadly I don't think reaserches would ever take the school bullying issue or family abuse issue into account to why many kids love to play videogames.

And placing more stigma about the negative affects of playing videogames is only going to make things worse than better because it shows that the research is biased and also because that non-gaming adults don't understand videogames at all if they have not played videogames at all.

Thus this is where the bias lies.

So this "study" is already fundamentally flawed. The primary problem with videogames and children is that parents have no friggin' idea what games their kids play, because they don't give a crap.

So asking parents about their children's videogame habits is like asking a 5th grader about a day in the life of an African villager. You'll get "conclusions" based on guesses and conjecture.

Unless there's a box on the survey marked: "I have no idea what my kids do in their rooms. I'm watching Grey's Anatomy. Leave me alone!"

If they conclude that video games are anti-social for a 12-year old well, that's because there is no one willing to participate. That is, families. We grow more conservative ever year we age. Most people grow too conformist to bother catching up with a lot of new technology, so while kids are playing video games, parents will prefer to toss the pigskin, read books to them or go on carnival rides.

But most parents will not try to butt in when their kids are playing videogames. If they don't give a crap on their video games, let's use substitution and we can say they don't give a crap on one of their child's favorite activities. If parents can adapt to the technology maybe they will give a crap. A common complaint is that parents find most of the games to be fast paced and their hands can't catch up to what they see on the screen.

The technology rift is alienating to people, and will only get bigger as it our science progresses. So video games may not be your thing, but if parents want to understand it, they should get into it themselves. Maybe they should try to get in touch with some gamer parents that get their kids' hobbies, because otherwise they'll remain Luddites when it comes to videogames and Pokemon will be as easy to understand as an HMO.

As a student I don't do most of my school work. I rather listen to music. I don't play video games usually until after 9.

Pigskin...

Good work. Keep it up....

I play games for hours every day.

National Honors Society and vice chair of the Appreciation and Recognition committee.

Accepted into an honors university.

Going for a double-major.

I laugh at you silly people who think gaming affects grades.
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