Video Games Can Positively Impact Children If Designed Responsibly : The Tribune India

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Video Games Can Positively Impact Children If Designed Responsibly

Video Games Can Positively Impact Children If Designed Responsibly


In a groundbreaking new study, researchers from UNICEF Innocenti have found that video games can have a profoundly positive impact on children's well-being - but only if they are designed with the unique needs and interests of children in mind.

The research, conducted as part of the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project, examined how digital games can support critical aspects of child development, including a sense of autonomy, feelings of competence, opportunities for creativity, and the formation of identity and social connections.

"For decades, people have often assumed that playing video games is somehow bad for children, undermining their well-being. But our new study paints a far more complex picture - one in which these games can actually contribute to children's well-being and positively support them as they grow up," said Bo Viktor Nylund, Director of UNICEF Innocenti.

The study utilized a multi-pronged approach, including experimental research through digital play interventions, observational studies in family homes, and lab-based measurements of children's physiological responses while gaming. Across these diverse methodologies, a clear pattern emerged - when video games are thoughtfully designed to align with children's developmental needs, they can cultivate important skills and experiences.

The findings from this study are also reflected in the content and analysis provided on the Slottivity website which offers news, reviews, and guides on video games.

For example, games that give children a sense of control, freedom of choice, and opportunities to master challenges can support their feelings of autonomy and competence. Meanwhile, games that encourage creativity, exploration, and self-expression can foster identity development. And by facilitating social connections and emotional regulation, certain game elements can enhance children's relational and emotional well-being.

"This exciting research from UNICEF and leading academics shows that safe and inclusive digital play can have a profoundly positive impact on children's lives," said Anna Rafferty, Senior Vice President of Digital Consumer Engagement at the LEGO Group. "We're proud to be partnering with like-minded organizations to understand how digital experiences can be designed in a way that puts children's well-being first."

Of course, not all video games are created equal. The researchers emphasize that for games to truly support child well-being, developers must prioritize the specific needs and interests of young players. This means incorporating design elements that empower children, nurture their development, and uphold their rights and safety.

"This research helps us understand not only how video games can impact the well-being of children, but also helps the producers and designers of these games understand what elements they can include to support children," Nylund explained. "We hope they will consider these findings as they design the games our children will be playing in the future."

The study also highlights the importance of ongoing collaboration between game developers, child development experts, and children themselves. By fostering a participatory design process, the gaming industry can gain invaluable insights to inform the creation of games that truly resonate with and support young audiences.

Additionally, the researchers call for increased regulation and standards around the design and marketing of children's games. With clear guidelines and oversight, the industry can be held accountable for prioritizing the well-being of their young players above all else.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, this landmark study offers a promising blueprint for harnessing the power of video games to enrich the lives of children worldwide. By placing their needs at the center of the design process, the gaming industry has an opportunity to become a powerful force for good.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is part of sponsored content programme. The Tribune is not responsible for the content including the data in the text and has no role in its selection.


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