September 16, 2008

Teens, Video Games and Civics

Acknowledgments

The authors of this report would like to thank Craig Wacker, Connie Yowell, and Benjamin Stokes at the MacArthur Foundation, as well as the scholars and researchers who gave us feedback on the survey instrument, the report and the research arena as a whole: Craig Anderson, Sasha Barab, Linda Burch, Lance Bennett, Brad Bushman, Rana Cho, Seran Chen, David Chen, Connie Flanagan, Jim Gee, Eszter Hargittai, Betty Hayes, Mimi Ito, Henry Jenkins, Barry Joseph, Scott Keeter, Ihan Kim, Miguel Lopez, Ryan Patton, Rebecca Randall, Katie Salen, Rafi Santo & Global Kids, David W. Shaffer, Constance Steinkuehler, Doug Thomas, and Dmitri Williams. Also thanks to Sydney Jones, Pew Internet research intern.

About this report: The Pew Internet & American Life Project and the MacArthur Foundation came together on this project in an effort to quantify the youth gaming space and the civic implications of teen video game play. Civic education scholars from Mills College were brought into the collaboration because of their involvement in similar research on young people and the civic dimensions of digital media use. This survey and report were born from this collaboration.

About the Pew Internet & American Life Project: The Pew Internet Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source for timely information on the Internet’s growth and societal impact. The Pew Internet Project is nonpartisan and does not advocate for any policy outcome or policy change. The Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center. Support for the project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project’s Web site is: http://www.pewinternet.org

About the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG): CERG is a research organization based at Mills College in Oakland, California, that conducts quantitative and qualitative research focused on youth civic engagement. The group looks at the impact of civic learning opportunities and digital media participation on young people’s civic capacities and commitments, as well as civic opportunities and outcomes in public schools. The goal is to develop an evidence base regarding effective civic education practices and policies. Joseph Kahne is currently the Abbie Valley Professor of Education, Dean of the School of Education at Mills College, and CERG’s Director of Research. Ellen Middaugh is Senior Research Associate at CERG. Chris Evans is Senior Program Associate at CERG. The research group’s website is http://www.civicsurvey.org.

About the MacArthur Foundation: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. With assets of $7 billion, the Foundation makes approximately $300 million in grants annually. Its digital media and learning initiative was launched in October 2007 to help determine how digital media are changing how young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. More information is available at http://www.macfound.org or http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org.

About Princeton Survey Research Associates: PSRA conducted the survey that is covered in this report. It is an independent research company specializing in social and policy work. The firm designs, conducts, and analyzes surveys worldwide. Its expertise also includes qualitative research and content analysis. With offices in Princeton, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, PSRA serves the needs of clients around the nation and the world. The firm can be reached at 911 Commons Way, Princeton, NJ 08540, by telephone at 609-924-9204, or by email at ResearchNJ@PSRA.com