Knot-Tying? Nah, Cub Scouts Offers Video Game Awards

Child Health Expert: 'Devil Is in the Details'

As educational as the awards may be, he said he doesn't think they were intended to promote a new hobby.

"But if those games were a part of my kids' lives, absolutely, it would be a great way for me as a parent to become more involved in that part of their life," he said.

Still, some child health experts say that while the general idea is valuable, it all depends on the execution.

"The devil is in the details," said Dr. Victor Strasburger, a professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico.

"Kids spend more time with media now than they do in school, and more time with media than any other activity than sleeping."

Study: Kids Spend More Than 7 Hours Each Day Using Media

A March report in the journal Pediatrics said that children and teenagers spend more than seven hours every day using media, such as television, video games, cell phones and computers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has been calling for educating kids about media for decades, Strasburger said, adding that helping kids get a handle on the media they're exposed to is "potentially brilliant" and something schools should be taking on.

"If this is an attempt to teach kids media literacy, it's a great idea. If it's an excuse to play violent video games, like 'Manhunt' and 'Halo,' then it's a terrible idea," he said. "It's hard to know how it's going to shake out.

And he emphasized that parents need to be more aware of their kids' media habits and the impacts they can have.

"The presence of a gaming system at home undoubtedly means your child is going to be spending more time playing video games than you might like," he said. "Parents need to be very cautious with that."

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