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Church sees the good in videogames

10:48 AM on 10.11.2008

Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor

How ironic. I leave boring England for exciting Japan and the most surprising bit of news all week has come from Blighty. Yes, believe it or not, Church leaders have said that videogames are actually a good thing.

Church and charity leaders spoke at an ELSPA-hosted panel where they concluded that games were a force for good in society and help children to make friends.

"We now live in a digital age where the nature of playing games has changed," suggested Martin Houghton-Brown of The Children's Society. "Children tell us supportive and loving relationships are key to a good childhood, we need to equip parents and carers to support children to stay safe when they play in the growing online world."

Lighthouse Group spokesman Mike Royal and Joseph Steinberg of the The Church Mission Society were in agreement that videogames can help build a dialog between parents and their children. In my house, the dialog was always "turn that bloody game down" followed by "I am going to murder you in your sleep, mother." I made sure she never heard that last bit.

Obviously, I don't think these chaps are quite talking about Manhunt when they speak of the good games can do, but nonetheless it's refreshing to see some progressive thinking when it comes to gaming. Good show.

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