Video games represent a paradigm shift in today’s entertainment sector. Daily, tens of millions of video game players globally come together from different ends of the earth to engage and compete in the video games. More than one out of three people in United States play the video games with the majority being the children. However, playing videos games may result in both positive benefits and negative experiences depending on the type and time spent on playing these games. In this regard, this analytical paper will analyze the effect of video games on children with the aim of understanding the psychological and sociological causes of those effects.
Negative effects of playing video games on children
Playing video games, particularly the violent video games have been shown to increase aggressiveness among the teens. The violent acts in the game when done repeatedly contribute to aggressiveness in children. The active involvement, repetitions and reward have been found to be very effective in teaching behavior (Gentle & Anderson 34). Therefore, kids who play games that are more violent are likely to increase aggressive feeling, thought, behavior, and decreased pro-social helping. The violent games may lead to violence and fight between the child and his peers. Playing video games also contribute to social isolation in children. Therefore, the children spend more time in playing games and less time in reading, homework, sports and interacting with friends and family. This usually contributes to poor school performance for the children (Gentile et al. 5-22). However, boys have been found to spend more time in video games than girls do. Gentile et al. indicate that boys spend an average of 13 hours per week whereas girls spend 5 hours per week (6). Video games confuse reality and fantasy by making the real and virtual world hard for children to discern (Ryan & Rigby 5).
Video games can have serious effects on the children health including video induced seizures, obscenity and skeletal, muscular, and postural disorders such as nerve comprehension, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Positive effects of playing video games on children
Video games have been shown to increase the creativity of the children. The Children and technology project found a relationship between video game playing and increased creativity regardless of race, gender and the type of game played. Children who play computer and action based games have a higher decision making speed without sacrificing accuracy than those who do not play difficult games.
Video games make learning enjoyable for the children. The color, animation and reward from winning the various games make them more attractive to kinds. Therefore, the best time to learn is when the child is having fun and playing the games at the same time. Having fun helps and motivates the child to keep on practicing and learning new skills, which makes difficult subjects such as mathematics enjoyable. Video games also help the players to identify themselves with and take the roles of their favorite character. This is called the first person video game (Anderson &dill 200.p788).
Playing video games help children learn how to follow instruction quickly and to acquire high problem solving skills. Games such as the shooting games may increase the children eye-hand coordination, spatial skills and fine motor. Some other types of games are hard and challenging for kids to play since they require critical thinking and high mastery skills to play. When the children succeed in playing these games they develop high mastery and critical thinking skills. “When game provide us with challenge they are inviting us to stress ourselves to new level of mastery which ones achieved increase our intrinsic need for competence” ( Ryan & Rigby 119).These mastery and critical thinking skills can help turn the children future ambitions into reality.
Video games enable the players to identify themselves with and take the roles of their favorite character. “Games want you to express yourself and infect they require it” (Ryan & Rigby 6). Therefore, children can develop critical thinking skills because they are able to make the next decisions affecting the character they are representing and intimating.
Remarkably, there are many positive and negative effects associated with playing games. The positive benefits; creativity and high problem solving skills associated with playing games are very instrumental in children development both socially and academically. However, uncontrolled playing of games may lead to detrimental effects such as aggression, isolation and health problems. Therefore, care need to be taken on the amount of time spent on playing games and the type of game played by children. It is through controlling the two factors that will make playing to have profound benefits to the children.
Anderson, Craig. &. Drill,n Karen, Brad Violent Video Games and aggressive thoughts, feeling and behaviour in laboratory and life .American psychology Association, 2000. Print
Gentile, Douglus. & Anderson, Craig.Violent video games: The newest media violence hazard.
In D.A. Gentile (Ed.), Media violence and children. Westport, CT: Praeger
Gentile, Douglas, Lynch Paul, Linder Jennifer,& Walsh David.The effects of violent video game
habits on adolescent hostility, aggressive behaviors, and school performance. Journal of
Adolescence, 2004. Print
Ryan Richard & Rigby Scott. Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us
Spellbound . Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLOI, 2011.Print
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