Is it Healthy for Children to Play Video Games?

When the public discovers that a violent child has played a lot of video games, they will often say that the violent behavior of the child is a direct result of the child playing violent video games. Game designers dispute the idea that violent video games lead directly to violent behavior in children.

Aggression

However some research has provided evidence that children who play violent video games do in fact show higher levels of aggression than children who do not play violent video games. Video games do have a rating system and parents should be aware of this fact. Children who already have emotional and mental problems may be at increased risk of developing aggressive behavior from playing violent video games.

Video games can be useful and helpful for children in that they teach hand eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Parents should be careful in what games their children, including teenagers, play. Research on children ages 7 to 11 years has shown that there is some benefit to playing video games, provided the amount of time that children spend playing the games is only a few hours a week. Children who play appropriate games can improve their motor skills and can do better in school.

Educational

Some video games are more educational, and these would be a very good buy; other games that are adventure-based are also appropriate, provided there is no violence. It is up to the parents to be aware of what their children are doing and the sorts of games they are exposed to. It may be wise to speak to your child’s teachers about educational video games. There are such games available today that even though the school may not use, may be a good purchase for a parent. There are for example, games that have been developed to help learn math.

It is also important to select age-appropriate games and to carefully control the time that children spend playing video games. This is to avoid your child becoming addicted to the game and thus avoiding social interaction with others. Video game addiction is a real problem that needs to be avoided. There is an ongoing debate over whether or not children do really become addicted to video games.

The Results

However, excessive time spent on video games appears to result in children having poorer social skills and can increase mental health issues, such as depression, social phobia and anxiety. There is no data to truly confirm that children who play excessive games become depressed or develop mental health problems, but the video games may exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues.

Children need to be exposed to real-life situations in which they learn how to interact appropriately with other children and adults in the real, physical world. The other issue is that the bright screens of computers and televisions can be harmful for vision over the long term. It can be healthy for children to play video games provided that the time spent playing is limited and the video game itself is age-appropriate and has useful content.

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