We know, in today’s society children are practically born with a smartphone in their hands and that’s just the tip, there are many other devices on which they can easily get hooked up on games. But are video games the good guy or the bad guy here? There are many sides to this story, some are firmly convinced that these activities can affect the long-term development, while others tend to believe that they do more good than harm.
According to an article published in Pediatrics: The Official Journal Of The American Academy of Pediatrics, author Andrew Przybylski concluded that “compared with non-players, children who typically invest less than one-third of their daily free time showed higher levels of prosocial behavior and life satisfaction and lower levels of conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, and emotional symptoms.” The findings also show that “electronic play has salutary functions similar to traditional forms of play; they present opportunities for identity development as well as cognitive and social challenges”.
Which basically means that children who engage in playing video games come into contact with an alike experience as if they were playing with Legos or building bricks, a creative play mostly. There are games specially designed to promote learning, to incite the brains of children and teenagers with various problem solving and brain pickers, while others focus on improving motor skills, coordination and attention.
On the other hand, not all video games have an educational content, on the contrary some even go beyond with violence and emphasizing negative concepts such as murder, racism, foul language, obscenities or disrespect for authorities. In addition to this, kids become numb when being exposed to violence and respond in an aggressive manner. Undoubtedly, we can all figure out that it’s not good for your son to be killing pedestrians and stealing cars for hours and hours on a daily basis. If you let your kid become a video games addict you can expose him to a sedentary lifestyle which means damaging his body and an increase risk of getting overweight. To top it off, his social skills might not develop as they should, although this is a threat to every Internet-connected person nowadays.
All in all, video games are not “the devil”, heck, even adults enjoy them, but as most of the things we expose ourselves to, when something is abused, it becomes pernicious. It’s just a matter of how much and when.