Ars Technica, a study appearing in the June edition of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine covering the effects of video games on young people paints a relatively reassuring picture. The study suggests that video games have no significant impact on academics or socialization. From the article:
Although there were some figures that might suggest that gaming displaced academic activities, such as reading and homework, the total time spent on these pursuits was so small that minor effects were magnified. If people are concerned about the lack of reading done by adolescents, the fact that non-gamers spend only eight minutes a day reading should be a far larger concern than the fact that gaming causes that figure to drop by a little more than two minutes.
And in my experience playing World of Warcraft with both kids and adults, I have to say that the game is very social, and can even teach plenty of social skills. (Well, as long as you eventually level out of Barrens chat.) Of course if you're replacing homework time with World of Warcraft time, that's one thing, but this study doesn't suggest that's what's happening. What's your opinion -- do games like World of Warcraft have a negative effect on our kids?