Bad news for those of you hoping the Xbox can be blamed for your children being terrible — a new study by Michigan State University has found that playing video games can lead to an increase in creativity in kids.
The MSU researchers asked 491 students how frequently they used different types of technology, and then measured their creativity using a variety of standardized tests. Video games were the only form of tech found to have any significant positive effect on creativity. In other words, if you’re going to let your kid have a cell phone, you damn well better make sure it has Angry Birds on it.
These findings aren’t particularly shocking. In a perfect world kids would skip off to paint with watercolors, commune with nature and play the cello once the video games were turned off. In the real world they’re going to vegetate in front of Disney Channel kiddie sitcoms, punch their siblings in the head or some combination of the two. At least gaming requires some thought and trial-and-error learning.
Video games have their faults, but they’re better than what your kids will choose as an alternative. If you think I’m wrong, just try to get through an episode of “The Suite Life on Deck” — survive and you’ll happily buy your kid every game on their Christmas list.