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 video games. More than one out of three people in the United States play video games with the majority being the children. However, playing video 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 to understand the psychological and sociological causes of those effects.
Negative effects of playing video games on children
Playing video games, particularly violent video games has been shown to increase aggressiveness among teens. The violent acts in the game when done repeatedly contribute to aggressiveness in children. Active involvement, repetitions, and reward are very effective in teaching behavior (Gentle & Anderson 34). Therefore, kids who play more violent games are likely to increase aggressive feelings, 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, children spend more time playing games and less time 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 on 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’s 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 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 children. The color, animation, and reward from winning the various games make them more attractive to kids. 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 characters. 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 shooting games may increase the children’s 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 provides us with a challenge they are inviting us to stress ourselves to a new level of mastery which ones achieved to increase our intrinsic need for competence” ( Ryan & Rigby 119). These mastery and critical thinking skills can help turn the children’s future ambitions into reality.
Video games enable the players to identify themselves with and take the roles of their favorite characters. “Games want you to express yourself and infect they require it” (Ryan & Rigby 6). Therefore, children can develop critical thinking skills because they can 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’s development both socially and academically. However, uncontrolled playing of games may lead to detrimental effects such as aggression, isolation, and health problems. Therefore, care needs 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.
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Spellbound. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLOI, 2011.Print