Games as a Tool for Teaching Children Empathy

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New York news station CBS 2 offers an interesting report on the use of video games (Games for Change as we like to call them) to teach children (and adults) about the importance of empathy. "That Dragon, Cancer" and "Papers, Please" are examples of games that deal with subject matter that puts ordinary people in seemingly insurmountable situations. By putting players in the shoes of someone in such situations, experts say that young people can learn to show a bit more empathy towards their fellow man.

"We’re finding, in our studies, kids who play more pro-social types of games end up increasing their empathy over time and then behaving more cooperatively and pro-socially in the real world," explained Douglas Gentile, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology.

And children are not the only ones who can benefit from games that put characters in tough real-life situations; these types of games can also have a positive effects on adults.

"We live in a world where empathy is tough to achieve. This is a medium that could teach, that could inform, that could promote something very positive," Asi Burak from Games For Change.

You can check out the news report to your left.

"That Dragon, Cancer," the Ouya exclusive game that focuses on a father struggling to deal with the daily trials and tribulations of his son suffering from cancer, is prominently featured.

Source: CBS 2


Comments

Re: Games as a Tool for Teaching Children Empathy

It's great to see this change in the gaming landscape being reported on the by the mainstream press.

"We’re finding, in our studies, kids who play more pro-social types of games end up increasing their empathy over time and then behaving more cooperatively and pro-socially in the real world,"

I'm curious if there would be more comments here about such a statement if it was about opposite findings regarding less 'social' games.

 
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