Elmo Thinks Games Are Good For Kids

Elmo Thinks Games Are Good For Kids

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Not everyone thinks games are out to get children: A report from the minds behind Sesame Street details the many positive effects gaming can have on kids.

If you're here reading The Escapist, you're likely more than aware that videogames are the most relevant media form of modern generations: Children are just as likely to come home and fire up their Xbox as they are to plop down in the couch to watch some TV - if not more so. Yet as popular and important as games are in the life of today's youth, adults seem to not really understand them, and frequently buy into all the hype and uproar over the more controversial titles.

The Joan Ganz Clooney Center at Sesame Workshop - aka some of the minds behind iconic childrens' TV show Sesame Street - thinks that this needs to change. Videogames can be a force for good, says a recently-released report, but very little is being done to examine exactly how games can have positive effects on youth. "Despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children gain content and vital foundational and 21st century skills," the report claims.

Active games like Dance Dance Revolution have been adopted in physical education programs, and with the unveiling of Project Natal and the PS3's motion control, all three consoles have been moving toward supporting games that encourage motion beyond sitting sedentary on a couch. But games can help childrens' physical well-being beyond encouraging exercise, says the report, pointing to games like the cancer-fighting Re-Mission.

The full report is pretty lengthy, but it's a fairly interesting read if you've got time. It's actually very refreshing to see no less an authority on kids' development than Sesame Street talk about how the medium can be a force for good, rather than a force to teach children how to run over prostitutes with a Ferrari. Of course, it makes sense when you think about it: Sesame Street was one of the programs that initially showed how television could be used to educate children back when the ol' boob tube was the target of its own moral panic. Grover, Elmo, and Big Bird are no stranger to this sort of argument, that's for sure.

Perhaps most importantly, the report urges parents and caretakers to play games with their children in order to provide the proper context. It's unlikely that we'll see Bert and Ernie playing Gears of War co-op together anytime soon, or indeed any videogame presence on the show itself (One opponent teabagged... two opponents teabagged, ah-ah-ah!) but it's the thought that counts, right?

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

(Variety, via CVG)

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Who is that girl doll in the pic, I don't remember her from my youth.

But yeah games can be a good influence or a bad influence. Really it depends mostly on the mindset of the person playing it.

the thing about the kids playing video games all the time is the fault of the parents. honestly they should limit the amount of game time kids have and force them to go outside and be kids and run around

then again parents should learn to let their kids actually do that without watching them like hawks and stopping them if they might scratch their knees a bit or covering them in sanitizer every time they touch some dirt or sand

Have they officially outed Bert and Ernie yet?
And now that I've ruined everyones memories of that show....

Its good to see a large part of entertainment actually being progressively thinking, but its not that unexpected - after all, Sesame Street is about as open minded as it is possible to be (to everyone except the homeless - He lives in a fucking trashcan, you pricks. Cut him some slack) and is always sure to actually know how their audience thinks. Its also not like they're the only ones who take gaming seriously - I recall that Steven Colbert mocked Microsoft over Natal, introducing the "Nextbox", a console so advanced you didn't need it.

I remember playing the Sesame Street games for the NES wayyyy back in my youth. Good times.

Ok this was a good article but..

CantFaketheFunk:

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

For that there are cookies

CantFaketheFunk:
It's actually very refreshing to see no less an authority on kids' development than Sesame Street talk about how the medium can be a force for good, rather than a force to teach children how to run over prostitutes with a Ferrari. Of course, it makes sense when you think about it: Sesame Street was one of the programs that initially showed how television could be used to educate children back when the ol' boob tube was the target of its own moral panic. Grover, Elmo, and Big Bird are no stranger to this sort of argument, that's for sure.

Good point.

CantFaketheFunk:

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

ROFL!

That bastard Elmo. Thinking he can get away with my childhood, and than make up for it with this? Swine.

But it is good that we have more people understanding how gaming's not all about Aim, Shoot, Kill, Repeat.

CantFaketheFunk:
It's unlikely that we'll see Bert and Ernie playing Gears of War co-op together anytime soon

awww :(
I can just imagine Bert getting frustrated with Ernie not reviving him when he gets downed.

Ka_huna:

CantFaketheFunk:
It's unlikely that we'll see Bert and Ernie playing Gears of War co-op together anytime soon

awww :(
I can just imagine Ernie getting frustrated with Bert not reviving him when he gets downed.

I can see it now:

Bert: Revive me, Ernie, I need to get back into the game!
Ernie: Sorry, Bert, I've got to get rid of this Hunter!
Bert: REVIVE ME ALREADY YOU SON OF A BISCUIT
Ernie: Hey, that's not the kind of language you should be using!
Bert: *RAGE QUIT*

CantFaketheFunk:
Elmo Thinks Games Are Good For Kids

(One opponent teabagged... two opponents teabagged, ah-ah-ah!) but it's the thought that counts, right?

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

So much win you just made my day. I'd give you cookies, but I eated them all.

CoverYourHead:

CantFaketheFunk:
Elmo Thinks Games Are Good For Kids

(One opponent teabagged... two opponents teabagged, ah-ah-ah!) but it's the thought that counts, right?

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

So much win you just made my day. I'd give you cookies, but I eated them all.

Agreed, couldn't have ended the article any better. I would like to offer up pie if the author is ever in my neck of the woods.

I'm severely disappointed not to see a Sesame Street game propaganda clip. It's good to see game's potential in regards to aiding child development acknowledged though.

:)

Well it also opens the door for them to again try Seseme Street video games, which to my knowlege have mostly failed horribly.

Honestly though now that the RL panic is over, I would like to see a "Grand Theft Elmo" minigame made somewhere. You know where you have to obtain an Elmo at any cost during a certain infamous holiday season... heavily armed shoppers all hitting the streets and stores at the same time after the hawt new toy at any cost. Blood flows like rivers...

Just imagine the multiplayer possibilities as one player manages to chainsaw through a mob and actually grab a Tickle Me Elmo from a pile of dismembered parts, only to run for the Wal*Mart speed pass and be turned to hamburger by other players using highly cusomized automaic weapons as they let fly on each other from the Aisles... finally a grandmother avatar limps up victorious to grab the package, multiple gunshot wounds, a missing eye, and extreme blood loss. Heroically she makes it to her car as phase two begins with the other players spawned with their own hightly customized holiday deathmobiles to enter into a last ditch effort to prevent her from making it home to wrap it....

Sure, running over Prostitutes wouldn't work, but you could have plenty of backround characters. Grenades hitting baby carriages as parents shop for teletubbies and get stuck in the crossfire (removing any child doomed to be reared on Teletubbies from the gene pool is not an atrocity but an act of humanitarianism!). The abillity to gun down those annoying Salvation Army beg-a-thon bellringers (I can almost hear the wet meaty thump of one of them hitting the safety glass of a mall entrance as I type this). While they haven't been around in reality for a while, just imagine plowing through groups of Christmas carolers with giant wheel spurs!

Indeed, I think Elmo is onto something here, and with an idea like that he definatly should get his own game.

Everyone contact your favorite game developer! Grand Theft Auto must be made into a mini-game for the AAA title of your choice. It doesn't matter which AAA titles as long as we one day get the ultimate "Reality Christmas Shopping Simulator". :)

>>>----Therumancer--->


>>>----Therumancer--->

Anyone else want to see Elmo hold a big speech all about this, or is that just me and my weirdness.

Anyway, it's good to hear from people who have actually worked with kids before about this, instead of just more and more lawyers and politicians with limited knowledge on the subject.

CanadianWolverine:

CoverYourHead:

CantFaketheFunk:
Elmo Thinks Games Are Good For Kids

(One opponent teabagged... two opponents teabagged, ah-ah-ah!) but it's the thought that counts, right?

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

So much win you just made my day. I'd give you cookies, but I eated them all.

Agreed, couldn't have ended the article any better. I would like to offer up pie if the author is ever in my neck of the woods.

Possibly the greatest comments the news room has ever had in an OP. Well done, Mr Funk. Do you want some cake?

I agree with most of this article. I'm a dad and I play videogames with my daughter at least once a week, and she probably fires up her DS a few times a week. We're always playing Mario or Kirby, sometimes even Rock Band together.

I can't imagine my kids not liking videogames, and me not playing them with them (redundant sentence, I know).

Well said elmo, you sexy sexy beast.

coxafloppin:
Well said elmo, you sexy sexy beast.

In the words of Elmo.. "TICKLE ME! TICKLE ME!"

And yes, Elmo has gained some brownie points for this. Not that he needed anymore but still.

Elmo is always right, and you can't deny that because he knows where you live.

He'll do horrible...things...

Since Sesame street was essentially my child and from my experience in psychology lessons it was also a lot of peoples (in both research and in my class) the next generation should be much more excepting of video games and not so quick to rush to generalisations every time someone blames something violent on manhunt/GTA

Hmm...I don't know what show I grew up with, but I know it wasn't Sesame Street or Teletubies (although I remember that my cousins on one side watched one and the cousins on the other side watched the other), but this is still good to hear. Imagine that; someone who actually understands how children develop saying video games are good.

Eric the Orange:
Who is that girl doll in the pic, I don't remember her from my youth.

Apparently her name is 'Prairie Dawn'.

And yes that is a very, very stupid name; the sort of name you give a kid when you want them to grow up to be a porn star.

CantFaketheFunk:
It's unlikely that we'll see Bert and Ernie playing Gears of War co-op together anytime soon.

But it would be AWESOME.

One opponent teabagged... two opponents teabagged, ah-ah-ah!

*facepalm*

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

*double facepalm*

Indigo_Dingo:
Have they officially outed Bert and Ernie yet?
And now that I've ruined everyones memories of that show....

I remember Bert and Ernie being more like college roommates than an un-outed couple, but I guess that's subjective.

the Media will never really understand children because understanding doesn't get ratings.

The only thing left to do now is actually make an episode of Sesame Street that talks about this.

Bert and Ernie playing GeOW... That would be interesting indeed...

I agree that games are good for kids and I don't really mean the whole 'good moral' games like um ... *trys to think of example* well, i don't know really, I don't play them. I'm sort of thinking along the lines of Wii games like SimTown etc etc.

Point is, I grew ip playing Diabllo II, Black and White ~still brilliant~, Half Life and many more =/ I'm now 19 and can safely say :) i'm not a very violent person. The reports that games make kids violent is, to say the least in my opinion, rubbish. Other factors play a part, not meaning to play Captain Obvious or anything there!

Elmo also did a song with Chris Brown, who slapped around his girlfriend.

I used to trust that little red hand warmer, but now I can't do it.

Agent Larkin:
Ok this was a good article but..

CantFaketheFunk:

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

For that there are cookies

Im not one for off topic posts but, Where the hell can I find those biscuits?
They look like the nutritional embodiment of every hope and dream that I have ever had.

nova18:

Agent Larkin:
- snip

Im not one for off topic posts but, Where the hell can I find those biscuits?
They look like the nutritional embodiment of every hope and dream that I have ever had.

agreed

They're just making a sesame street game and are advertising.

nova18:

Agent Larkin:
Ok this was a good article but..

CantFaketheFunk:

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

For that there are cookies

Im not one for off topic posts but, Where the hell can I find those biscuits?
They look like the nutritional embodiment of every hope and dream that I have ever had.

I can only give you the website.

www.ferraracafe.com

CantFaketheFunk:
(One opponent teabagged... two opponents teabagged, ah-ah-ah!) but it's the thought that counts, right?

This post has been brought to you by the letters P, W, and N.

Good sir you have brought pure win to this world.

i recall reading some research that said video games improve hand-eye coordination and vision in general. and are more beneficial than carrots!

so yay for videogames!

 

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