Opinions and Culture

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain?

Jayne Gackenbach Ph.D.

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain? – Family Life and Video Game Play

This time I spoke with Pål Aarsand who has a PhD in Child Studies and works as a senior lecturer at the Department of Education, Uppsala University, Sweden. His research interest is in young people’s use of digital technology in their everyday lives. He has focused on game/play, identities, the parent-child relation and digital competences. We had a lively conversation about how families are coping with the new play world of video games. We touched on parenting issues as well as problem versus healthy use in children. In his article in the Journal of Children and Media, he notes that his data “reveal considerable diversity in how middle-class parents deal with game play, which is currently one of the most common child and youth leisure activities… It is argued that differences in middle-class families’ parenting styles are related to their view of the child and their stance on game technology. In addition, talk about parenting reveals parents’ construction of good and bad parenting, where they see themselves as belonging to the former category” as it relates to video game play.