New research claims that young people can experience “huge benefits from participating in multiplayer online role playing games.”
Performed by Dr. Simon Bradford and Nic Crowe of Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education, the study consisted of three year study of 13-16 year-olds who played Runescape, a massively multiplayer online game developed by Cambridge-based Jagex.
“[Runescape provides] a space in which young people can establish their presence, identity and meaning in ways that might not be accessible or permissible in their everyday lives,” explained Crowe.
Virtual environments also provide an opportunity to engage in activities otherwise out of reach, said Bradford. “We noted how entrepreneurial young players engaged in business deals online, experiencing positive opportunities often not open to them in the material world.”
“At a time when emerging technologies such as the internet, and computer games in particular, continue to be subject to suspicion and concern it is important that we also recognise the benefits of what is an increasingly popular and important activity for our young people,” he added.