June 1, 2009

Civic-Minded Teen Video Gamers

2 in 3

Roughly two-thirds of teens who play video games with others in person engage in charitable or political activities.

A Pew Internet & American Life survey finds that playing video games with others in person is related to civic and political outcomes among teenagers, but playing with others online is not. Among teens who play games with others in the room: 65% go online to get information about politics, compared with 60% of those who do not; 64% have raised money for charity, compared with 55% of those who do not; 64% are committed to civic participation, compared with 59% of those who do not. There is little evidence to support the concern that playing video games promotes behaviors or attitudes that undermine civic commitments and behaviors. At the same time, there is little evidence to support the idea that playing video games, in general, is associated with a vibrant civic or political life. The frequency of gaming was related to only two civic and political outcomes — political interest and protesting — with differences only emerging between the highest and lowest frequency of game play. Read More