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Children are huge fans of video games. In fact, they love it so much that their parents have to scold them to do something else for them to leave video games once they hook themselves onto it. Parents are right here because anything in excess is not good, and in this case, it is video games.
Although it is true that certain games improve the ability to process information, enhance the coordination between the eyes and the hands, and also better problem-solving skills. Yet, it does not change the fact that anything over the board is harmful, and children might end up getting addicted to video games. So, the question arises, is it good or bad for toddlers?
What are the advantages of playing video games for children?
Decision making and problem-solving
Many games include puzzles, brain-teasers, and other problematic situations where players need to solve things to reach the next stage or level. Games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds require the kids to use their logical skills for advancing in them. They need to plan, search, and try various approaches to deal with the difficulties and solve the puzzles. All in all, these games make up for an excellent brain workout!
Few scientists even believe that people can use video games to develop faster decision-making skills in children. According to many studies, children who play video games have been more active-minded and sensitive to their environment. They can also make the right decisions quicker than non-gaming children.
Motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spatial skills
Some games require the players to keep track of a particular character’s position. It includes things like where the character is going and what the speed is. Players also have to keep a watch on the other activities going on in the game. They need to take all these elements into account and coordinate what the brain interprets with their hand movements. Players need to have the excellent hand-eye coordination to accomplish these things. They also need to utilize their visual and spatial abilities for it.
According to research, children who play video games have better visual and spatial attention skills than those who don’t. They are also more successful in visually processing the images than those who don’t play video games.
According to a meta-analysis, children can acquire spatial skills in a considerably short time by playing video games. The results are pretty comparable to the formal training that helps in optimizing these skills. These effects are pretty strong. In fact, even pilots and surgeons take video game training to enhance their motor and spatial skills.
The ability to quickly and efficiently switch between two or more things is an essential skill that everyone should learn. Video games enhance children’s ability to manage and apprehend various objectives. According to many pieces of research, children who play video games perform better than others when they have to complete multiple objectives.
Multitasking abilities can be seen in strategy games, where children need to take care of many units and encounter various surprises. It forces them to be flexible and also change their tactics according to that.
What is there on the negative side of video gaming for children?
Aggression is a primary concern of those parents whose kids play video games. Video games can promote aggression, reduce prosocial behavior and increase impulsive behavior, and they also negatively impact the child’s mood. Much research has also shown that playing video games where children have to kill in-game characters (like the Grand Theft Auto series) increases aggression. It also reduces their empathy.
Some people would argue saying that video games don’t cause aggression. Instead, those who play those games already have aggressive tendencies. Anyhow, if you are a parent and you are concerned about your video game-playing child who is showing aggressive behavior, reducing their gaming is a safe option. If children are unwilling to talk to you about it, it will be best to speak to a parent facing a similar problem.
It is pretty true that video games are addictive, and they can also lead to behavioral dependency. It is characterized by constant and compulsive computer and video game usage. These things can essentially interfere with the everyday life of a child. The World Health Organization has also recognized “a pattern of persistent or recurring gaming behavior” as a disorder. The following things manifest this disorder.
- Impairing in gaming control, including frequency, intensity, duration, and context
- Prioritizing gaming over other interests and activities in life
- Continuing and increasing the time playing games even if they have gone through its negative consequences
There is no black or white answer to the question, “Are video games beneficial or harmful for kids?” It depends on the game children play and their addiction to it. What you need to remember is that playing obsessively and compulsively playing video games is bad. However, if things get out of control, it is best to have a backup.
Avosmart is a parental control tool that will help you protect your kids from the dangers lurking on the Internet. Also, you can control the time they play games with the help of Avosmart. It gives you the freedom to block websites that can potentially contain harmful content. You can put a limit to games and apps, and when children cross the limit, the app will get locked.