July 27, 2005

Hillary vs. the Xbox: Game over

Here’s an interesting piece in the L.A. Times from Steven Johnson, author of “Everything Bad is Good for You” He challenges Hillary Clinton who wants to do a 90 million dollar study on the effect of video games on kids. He makes some very astute observations including:

Consider this one fascinating trend among teenagers: They’re spending less time watching professional sports and more time simulating those sports on Xbox or PlayStation. Now, which activity challenges the mind more — sitting around rooting for the Packers, or managing an entire football franchise through a season of “Madden 2005”: calling plays, setting lineups, trading players and negotiating contracts? Which challenges the mind more — zoning out to the lives of fictional characters on a televised soap opera, or actively managing the lives of dozens of virtual characters in a game such as “The Sims”?

Hillary vs. the Xbox: Game over