One in four 5-year olds uses the Internet. 90% of kids ages 5 to 17 are using the computer. Things are changing, but what's for the better and what's for the worse?
Children who had access to a computer performed better on school readiness and cognitive development tests, controlling for developmental stage and socioeconomic status. Boys tended to be better at computer games than girls (and had more practice), and when playing a novel game, boys, but not girls tended to try to figure out problems independently rather than asking for help.
Violent games do appear to influence children, and the research is cautionary: Younger children (4th-5th grade) with little exposure to 'real violence' or social stressors, were not more aggressive than non violent-video gamers, but the did appear to have lower levels of empathy. More worrisome trends were noticed in high schoolers who played violent games: they did have higher levels of aggression, were more likely to be involved in physical fights, and performed more poorly in school.
WINK-TV Southwest Florida's News Leader