Effects of Video Games on Children

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Know the Pros and Cons of Playing Video Games

Video games are becoming more and more acceptable when it comes to being a form of entertainment. The number of adults who play video games have increased due to the previous generation of gamers having transitioned into adulthood. Even when video games are still seen as “childish” or “juvenile,” the industry has already reached its peak among the adult audience.

Effects of Video Games on Children

But the issue of children playing video games persists to this day. Oftentimes, games are blamed for the escalating violence and aggression among children. People have been curious as to what the effects of games on youngsters really are—if whether they both have positive and negative effects or none at all.

Gamers below the age of 18 account for 29% of the gaming population.1 As gaming becomes more mainstream and as technology develops further, the number will inevitably increase. It’s become undeniable that at some point, children will be exposed to gaming at an early age. As various studies have been conducted, individuals managed to produce a few good and bad effects of video games for kids.

Positive Effects

  • Quick Thinking

Children who play action games tend to make quick and correct decisions. This is especially useful when caught in intense situations.2

  • Increased Accuracy

Action games are especially helpful in this regard, as they train the brain to make faster decisions without sacrificing accuracy.3

  • Improved Strategizing

Strategy games, fighting games, and role-playing games allow children to develop a sense of strategy that’ll be more helpful when situations call for it.

  • Linguistic Development

In countries where English isn’t the native language, games allow for the development of their knowledge of English. Games also help out in reading comprehension and the like.

  • Developed Patience, Concentration, and Perseverance

Video games that are more difficult than most will challenge a child’s well-being, allowing them to be more emotionally mature in the future.

Negative Effects

  • Violence

Children who play violent video games tend to have increased aggressive thoughts. Violence in video games has been a pressing issue since the industry gained popularity. Violent video game effects supposedly include mass shootings and school disturbances.

  • Social Isolation

Young children may also prefer to stay indoors instead of going outside, as they’d want to spend most of their day playing video games. They may neglect their studies and responsibilities in the process.

  • Attention Span Problems

Although games increase focus and concentration, children may not have enough of those for other things, as they become more impulsive and detached.4

Recommendation

  • Keep watch of children’s gaming activities. See if the video games they’re playing are age-appropriate or suitable for them.
  • Offer a variety of other activities aside from video games. Allow children to play sports, travel, read, and interact with other children, among others.
  • Limit the number of hours children play video games. For the most part, an hour a day is enough.
  • Allow children to play games they can actually learn from in various aspects, such as history, linguistics, creativity, and others.

As a way for children to entertain themselves, video games are here to stay. For children, computer games and video games have become a staple in such regard. A parent’s duty is to see that kids may garner positive results from playing games. It’s a parent’s responsibility, therefore, to keep track of the current trends in gaming and what they should allow their children to play. As the gaming industry rises, it allows access to children video games which may not be fitting for them. As such, parents need to adapt to such a change.

References:

1 venturebeat.com/2014/04/29/gaming-advocacy-group-the-average-gamer-is-31-and-most-play-on-a-console/

2 phys.org/news/2010-09-video-games-faster-decisions-accurate.html

3 rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3679

4 apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/ppm-1-1-62.pdf

 
 

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