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Video games seen boosting civic involvement

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Despite parental concerns about fostering anti-social behavior, video games provide opportunities for civic engagement and social interaction, a new survey says.

More than seven in 10 youth ages 12 to 17 say they play video games with others, and more than four in 10 say video games have taught them about a societal problem, says the survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

And more than seven in 10 youth say they have helped others while playing video games.

Game-playing youth were found to be more likely to search for information about current events online, advocate for political candidates and raise money for charity, says the survey, “Teens, Video Games, and Civics.”

“The stereotype that gaming is a solitary, violent, anti-social activity just doesn’t hold up,” Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with the project, says in a statement. “For most teens, gaming runs the spectrum from blow-‘em-up mayhem to building communities.”

However, almost a third of youth reported playing games that were rated inappropriate for their age categories.

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