Church of England: Games are a force for good

Written by Joe Martin

October 13, 2008 | 10:54

Tags: #christ #christianity #church #religion

Companies: #elspa #the-church

In a recent round table discussion between the Church of England and a collection of some of the leading charity groups in the UK, the Church of England came to the surprising conclusion that games can be a force for good in the modern world.

The discussion, which was organised by Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), included the experts from the computer and video games industry as well as those from the Church of England. ELSPA organised the talk to investigate why some groups fear that children can be negatively affected by videogames and to try and dispel the myths that all violent video games are bad.

As it turned out though, many of those involved in the talk were already well aware of how computer and videogames can be beneficial to children, helping them learn about the function of rules and boundaries as well as giving them shared, meaningful experiences to discuss in larger groups.

Among the speakers at the discussion was Mike Royal, national director of the Lighthouse Group, a charity which educates children who have been expelled from schools. Royal in particular was vocal about what role computer games can have in child development, mentioning how important they can be in helping a child learn what is and is not considered to be ethical.

A lot of discussion was focused too on increasing the dialogue between parents and children, trying to make parents understand which games are suitable for their kids and educating the public on the PEGI age-rating system and how to use it.

ELSPA currently has a full recording of the discussion available, which you can download here. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the forums and tell us what important life-lessons you've learned from computer games.
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