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Third-Graders React To Video Games Tracking Their Play

Ms. James' class at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C. wrote in to <em>Morning Edition</em> with their reactions to a story.
Courtesy of Mary Beth James
Ms. James' class at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C. wrote in to Morning Edition with their reactions to a story.

Last week, as part of our kids and technology theme week, Steve Henn wrote about how video game makers are spending more time and money tracking players' behavior.

"As we play games, game designers are running tests on us and our kids. They're asking themselves what can they tweak to make us play just a bit longer," Henn wrote.

The story connected with Mary Beth James. She's a third grade teacher at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C., and she played our report to her class. (We feel honored.)

"The theme of being watched and tracked was pretty scary to the kids. And they wanted to know why they were doing that," James said.

James then asked the students to share their thoughts in the form of a letter to video game makers or NPR. Here is a sample of the letters.

And you can listen to the full week of reporting in our new tech team podcast, or read them on this page.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.

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