Research 6: World of Wonder – Report
- The presentation was based on interviews with over 3,000 children aged 10-17 and over 20 focus groups
- The popularity of gaming continues to grow, inspiring concerns about what the ‘gamification’ of our children will mean to their health and development…
This session was divided into two halves – and the first involved Dr Barbie Clarke sharing some head spinning facts and headlines to highlight what she calls ‘the climate of concern’ surrounding children’s growing obsession with gaming: the increase in tablet use, the threat of addiction, thousands of pounds being spent on apps, the effects on physical well being and posture, and an increase in violence and aggression. It was pretty sobering stuff.
Siv Svanaes then took centre stage to assure us that it “isn’t all bad news” and there’s clear evidence that gaming has many positive/constructive influences on children’s lives, for example providing avatars to let them explore their identity, and virtual worlds that encourage altruism and provide a sense of freedom.
As their presentation drew to a close, they treated us to a BBC News clip entitled Should teachers use Minecraft in our classrooms? in which the interviewer visited a school that is using the popular game to unlock children’s imaginations. It was an inspiring close to the session, and really highlighted the positive impact that gaming could have on audiences.