Playing with Fire
In the debate on children, youth and computer games, the question of whether computer games are harmful is often posed. The answers provided are many and varying, making it easy to interpret the research results as contradictory. Questions concerning the harmfulness of computer games often seek simple “yes” or “no” answers, while the research reveals a more complicated picture. Different investigations also have their starting point in different perspectives and questions, which may explain the confusion. With an aim to clarify and bring some order to the area, the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People has conducted an investigation that provides some insight into children’s and young people’s use of computer games. The investigation is based, among other things, on a picture of the scientific status of computer games and harmfulness as well as on an overview of the considerations other countries have made concerning regulation in the area. The original report Forskningsnotat om computerspil og skadelighed (Egenfeldt-Nielsen & Smith, 2003) is available at www.medieraadet.dk. Nordicom’s International Clearinghouse for Children, Youth and Media considered the report to be of interest to a wider audience and sought collaboration with the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People concerning publishing of the report. The authors, Simon Egenfelt-Nielsen and Jonas Heide Smith, have done some revising and updating of the report, which is now available in English. It is our hope that the report will contribute to clarification in the debate on computer games and inspire further research in the area.