Over at Ars Technica, they have a piece up about the results of a survey conducted in 2004 by a team from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Michigan State University. It was about kids playing M-rated games.

They polled a total of 1254 students, aged 12-14, from Pennsylvania and South Carolina. That, of course, is well under the age for M-rated products, but obviously the kids were playing them.

And, as the survey showed, the kids (both boys and girls) liked the games. Hardly a surprise to any of us. But it was this statement that got me thinking: 60% agreed that “I play electronic games because there’s nothing else to do.”

Nothing else to do? I find that scary. When we (or most of us) were kids, we didn’t have computers or playstations or handheld devices (except maybe a portable radio).

How did we manage to get along? Of course, there were times when we might have been bored. But gosh, didn’t we find things to do? Play with friends? Read a book? Make stuff?

How much are the kids growing up today missing, if they think that there’s nothing else to do than play video games? Has their world narrowed down to a monitor screen already?

Do you find this disturbing? I do, and I don’t have kids. I’m not even talking about the violence, just the thought that children are growing up fixed on a single activity as play.

Anyway, read the article and see what you think:

Kids and M-rated Games on Ars Technica