Posted at 04:28 PM ET, 01/31/2013

A look at the video games American children are playing

On March 5, Washington Post Live’s Summit on Children will convene thought leaders and experts to discuss America’s children - their education, health, and support for their families.

With American children spending most of their days - on average 7.5 hours a day - with digital media, the conversation will address the effect this constant screen time is having on children.

On average, more than an hour of this time is spent playing video games, according to a 2010 study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

With continued debate about the impact of video games on children’s health and behavior, here are some things to know about children and the video games they’re playing:

Who plays video games?

97% of children play video games, according to a 2008 study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. But they aren’t the only ones playing games - in fact, the average video gamer is 37 years old, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

What games are they playing?

According to the same Pew study, some of the most popular games for American teens are: Guitar Hero, Halo 3, Madden NFL, Solitaire, and Dance Dance Revolution. Interestingly, half of the boys surveyed said one of their three favorite games had a Mature or Adult rating.

How much do parents know about the games their kids are playing?

While a study from the Entertainment Software Association suggest that about 90% of parents pay attention to the games their kids are playing, the Pew study found that only 30% of 8-18 year olds said their parents had rules about the games they were allowed to play.

What is the impact of games?

Academics, policy makers and parents have long discussed how video games affect children’s health, behavior and education but have reached no consensus.

Whereas some research has found that violent video game use is associated with increased aggressive behavior in children, another study reveals a link between playing video games and greater creativity. Similarly, while one study found a correlation between video game, television use and increased attention problems, another study saw a relationship between playing video games and enhanced visual attention.

There have also been forays into understanding the educational value of video games. One public school in New York City has even adopted game-like learning into its curriculum.

By Masuma Ahuja  |  04:28 PM ET, 01/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:14 PM ET, 12/12/2012

Women in 2012 as told in tweets

On December 5, Washington Post Live hosted the Women in 2012 Summit, convening exceptional women from diverse fields — from business to politics to sports and arts. Here are highlights from the conversation on twitter.

By Masuma Ahuja  |  04:14 PM ET, 12/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 11/29/2012

What I wish I knew at 17: Advice from exceptional women

On December 5, Washington Post Live will host the Women in 2012 Summit, convening exceptional women from diverse fields -- from business to politics to arts.

Ahead of the event, we asked these women what they wished they knew at 17. Their responses are below.

What do you wish you knew at 17? Share your advice to your teenage self in the space provided below or at tweet at #WishIknewat17. We will be featuring readers’ responses in a blog post.

Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor

Keep striving. Never lose heart. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down; it’s about how many times you get back up. And it’s what do after you get back up and brush yourself off that will really matter.

Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News

Don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t” succeed or overcome a challenge because it hasn’t been done before. And never permit others to define your goals - decide what you want and go for it!

Susan Lyne, CEO and Chairman, Gilt Groupe

Your working life will likely span half a century, roughly three times as long as you’ve been on the planet. You have time -- time to take some risks, make mistakes, pick yourself up, start over or start something new. Don’t obsess about making the “right” career decision, as if there is only one. Take a leap, learn, and stay nimble enough to recognize opportunities as they arise.

Marne Levine, Vice President, Global Public Policy, Facebook

At Facebook, we have posters all over the walls that convey key elements of our culture. Some of these I really love, and they’ve become personal mantras. One is ‘What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?’ Using this as a guide for everyday life is a total game-changer – when you put fear aside and follow your convictions, you get to try and achieve so many more things.

Jaime Herrera Beutler, Representative, R - Washington

First, find a hero. Take courage and inspiration from someone else’s example. Then, figure out your vision. Write it down, post it on your wall and don’t be afraid to tell it to folks. Because without vision, you’ll go nowhere.

Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

As my father always said to me ‘aim for the stars so that you can reach the treetops, and at least you will get off the ground.’

Denyce Graves, Mezzo Soprano

Hmmm, many things I think but mostly to trust. Trust that all is in order and that things will work out without pushing.

Nancy Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, White House

Take time to smell the roses.

Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department

You are NOT smarter than your parents and you DO NOT know everything! The fact is, at 17 years old you do not have enough experience in life to make the really complicated decisions without taking advice from someone who cares about you and DOES have experience in life.

What do you wish you knew at 17? Share your advice to your teenage self in the space provided below or at tweet at #WishIknewat17. We will be featuring readers’ responses in a blog post.

Read more about the Women in 2012 Summit.

By Washington Post Live team  |  11:09 AM ET, 11/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:59 PM ET, 10/19/2012

A discussion about noncommunicable diseases

On October 17, Washington Post Live hosted a forum on noncommunicable diseases, bringing together medical and public health experts to discuss how to fight diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. Here are highlights of the conversation, as told in tweets.

By Masuma Ahuja  |  01:59 PM ET, 10/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:32 AM ET, 09/12/2012

Ahead of 2012 election, energy generates a lively debate

Huge natural gas and oil finds in the United States — from Pennsylvania and Ohio to North Dakota and Texas — have drastically changed America’s energy outlook. Gas burns cleaner than coal. It’s relatively cheap. U.S. reliance on foreign oil is dropping. There are environmental concerns with “fracking,” the hydraulic fracturing process used to unleash gas and oil from rock. While many see big dollar signs in exporting U.S. gas, others argue that the best way to keep prices low is to keep this energy windfall right here at home. Both President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney are making energy a top 2012 presidential campaign issue. Washington Post Live, in partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center, held forums at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions to discuss the best way to cultivate the fast-changing U.S. energy landscape. Many speakers at the Republican convention in Tampa criticized what they said were onerous, outdated and expensive federal regulations for drilling and fracking. They favored the Romney plan to give more power to states to control the process. In Charlotte, speakers at the Democratic convention accused the Romney campaign of being too cozy with the oil industry. They said Democrats are determined to diversify into renewable energy and safeguard the environment while pursuing gas and oil. We have excerpted highlights on these pages, and video of the lively discussions can be viewed on

Click here for excerpts and video highlights from the RNC.

Click here for excerpts and video highlights from the DNC.

By Mary Jordan  |  09:32 AM ET, 09/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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