News Flash: Video Games Can Be Good For You

Tonight we begin a series on video games and children. It's largely inspired by a new study released today from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

It's a compelling read, and really shatters quite a number of stereotypes about what kids are playing and whether video games can be social and even beneficial. Certainly, there will be plenty of skeptics, but I recommend reading the whole study to get a complete picture. Of the more striking findings: 97% of children aged 12-17 are playing video games (99% boys, 94% girls), and the most popular genres of games are racing, puzzle and sports. There's also analysis in the study about how game-based interaction can actually steer kids towards civic and community involvement.

We'll talk about the study on tonight's Evening News with Katie Couric, and then later in the week we'll also look at a couple of major new games that are gathering quite a following: Will Wright's new "Spore" that takes "The Sims" concept to a whole new level; and "Rock Band 2," which is really giving "Guitar Hero" a run for its money. I hope you'll watch!

Until next time, stay connected.