Does Playing Games Affect Your Child’s Health?

To be honest, we cannot deny the fact that playing video games online do make us lazy since we play the games sitting and there is hardly any movement. However, one thing must be taken into consideration that playing video games do have a positive impact on your child’s health. A research paper titled “The Benefits of Playing Video Games,” was published by Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C. M. E. Engels. According to them, in order to understand the benefits of playing video games, we need to take a more balanced approach. The researchers discussed the benefits based on the following four areas – cognitive, motivational, emotional and social.

Cognitive

A study has found that children who play shooter games tend to become good learners and are healthier than those who do not play such games. Isabela Granic of Radboud University Nijmegen has stated that although studies have been conducted to find the negative impacts of gaming, it is also important to study how a child’s health and socialization ability can be boosted via video games. The study results have shown that children who played first person shooters have a “faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities”.

Playing video games can actually increase the cognitive skills including spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception in children as well as adolescents. Thus, from learning standpoint, the shooter games do help people think more accurately and have a strong perception about science, technology, engineering and math. When playing shooter games, a child actually uses his or her brain more tactfully to find a way out to win the game. Problem-solving skills get boosted through online gaming. Creativity among children also increases via games. For example, a study was conducted on 500 12 year old playing video games. The result showed the creative skills of the 500 children are better than the non-players.

Motivational

Carol Dweck has talked about the entity theory of intelligence and an incremental theory of intelligence. Kids developing an entity theory of intelligence believe they have certain fixed qualities for which they are praised. For example, a child who is good in maths is praised by his teachers and parents for bringing good marks in all the examinations. Such praising leads to negative impact on a child. Children develop incremental theory of intelligence when they are praised for their hard work and effort. For example, when you say to your kid that “you have really worked hard on that puzzle”, it is associated with the incremental theory of intelligence. According to researchers, video games are based on incremental theory of intelligence and help to keep the players motivated and engaged.

Emotional

Through game based learning, a child can be encouraged to resolve real-life problems. Realistic problems help a child develop strong emotions and how to regulate the same. Players who play video games online often have to control their negative emotions to have full control of the game.

Social

Unlike many who believe online gaming is actually isolating children, multiple studies have pointed out that a gamer can actually become more social by interacting with fellow gamers in the virtual world. There are many games that require more than one player. Besides, many game portals have free chat rooms to interact with the gamers any time.