Are video games bad for kids?
When you think about kids playing video games, you might think about increased violence and social isolation. But can playing video games be beneficial? Asa Briggs, DNP, says yes.
“With more kids now playing video games it is important to understand that video games aren’t all bad. There are many benefits that playing video games can provide to teens, especially during these times of COVID-19 isolation,” said Briggs.
He said studies have shown that video games can have these benefits for children:
- Cognitive. It has been shown that playing video games can enhance cognitive skills. Shooter games have traditionally been thought of as violent, but when children play these games, they have displayed more accurate attention and mental rotation abilities.
- Motivational. Video games offer failure as a tool for motivation. Children playing video games know and understand that they will overcome many obstacles with little success. This helps them to persist in the face of adversity and failure.
- Emotional. Kids playing video games have been shown to feel more upbeat and have a more positive outlook.
- Social. Gaming communities that exist online for kids to play with their friends and others offer them the ability to engage. It has given them more effective cooperative skills and showcased more helping behaviors.
“Once you dig a little further into video games, you can see that there are some positive benefits for kids. However, it is important to have parameters,” said Briggs. Here are some things to understand and watch for if your kid is playing video games:
- Know what they are playing.
- Know who they are playing with.
- Make sure the games are age appropriate.
- Understand how they are interacting with others online.
“Video games aren’t all bad, as they do offer engagement for kids. Just remember, they can have negative effects. It is up to you as the parent to watch your kids and make sure the negative isn’t outweighing the positive,” said Briggs.
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