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Video Games: Friend or Foe?


The age old debate over the effects of video games on youth was the center of discussion in Brussels, Germany this week at a roundtable discussion titled, “PC and videogames: friends or foes?” The discussion, hosted by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), included both parents’ representatives and experts from major universities and research institutions throughout Europe.


The day long seminar was divided into two parts: “Are they foes?” and “Are they friends?” During the morning “foes” section, points regarding the addictiveness and potential harm games can cause young players were discussed. Conversely, the afternoon “friends” section discussed positive applications for gaming, ranging from therapy tools to training people for space exploration.


Though no definite conclusions were made during the seminar, the consensus of attendees believed that more resources need to be devoted to study gaming’s positive and negative potential.


Patrice Chazerand, secretary general of the ISFE stated: “In light of such a thorough analysis of current issues and such a lively dialogue, we should not let this intellectual stimulation die out. ISFE will see to building upon this exchange and make it happen on a permanent or regular basis.”

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