Search This Blog

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games

The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games

Is playing video games good or bad for you? It can be both.

Video games are frowned upon by parents as time-wasters, and worse, some education experts think that these games corrupt the brain.  Playing violent video games are easily blamed by the media and some experts as the reason why some young people become violent or commit extreme anti-social behavior.  But many scientists and psychologists find that video games can actually have many benefits – the main one is making kids smart.  Video games may actually teach kids high-level thinking skills that they will need in the future.
“Video games change your brain,” according to University of Wisconsin psychologist C. Shawn Green. Playing video games change the brain’s physical structure the same way as do learning to read, playing the piano, or navigating using a map. Much like exercise can build muscle, the powerful combination of concentration and rewarding surges of neurotransmitters like dopamine strengthen neural circuits that can build the brain.
Below are the good and bad effects of video games, according to researchers and child experts:

Positive Effects of Video Games

When your child plays video games, it gives his brain a real workout.  In many video games, the skills required to win involve abstract and high level thinking.  These skills are not even taught at school.  Some of the mental skills enhanced by video games include:
    1. Following instructions
    2. Problem solving and logic – When a child plays a game such as The Incredible Machine, Angry Birds or Cut The Rope, he trains his brain to come up with creative ways to solve puzzles and other problems in short bursts
    3. Hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills. In shooting games, the character may be running and shooting at the same time. This requires the real-world player to keep track of the position of the character, where he/she is heading, his speed, where the gun is aiming, if the gunfire is hitting the enemy, and so on. All these factors need to be taken into account, and then the player must then coordinate the brain’s interpretation and reaction with the movement in his hands and fingertips. This process requires a great deal of eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial ability to be successful.  Research also suggests that people can learn iconic, spatial, and visual attention skills from video games.  There have been even studies with adults showing that experience with video games is related to better surgical skills. Also, a reason given by experts as to why fighter pilots of today are more skillful is that this generation’s pilots are being weaned on video games.
    4. Planning, resource management and logistics.  The player learns to manage resources that are limited, and decide the best use of resources, the same way as in real life.  This skill is honed in strategy games such as SimCity, Age of Empires, and Railroad Tycoon. Notably, The American Planning Association, the trade association of urban planners and Maxis, the game creator, have claimed that SimCity has inspired a lot of its players to take a career in urban planning and architecture.
    5. Multitasking, simultaneous tracking of many shifting variables and managing multiple objectives.  In strategy games, for instance, while developing a city, an unexpected surprise like an enemy might emerge.  This forces the player to be flexible and quickly change tactics.

Negative Effects Of Video Games

1. Increases Aggressive Behavior:

Video games with violent content can lead to aggressive behavior in teens. It can also desensitize them to violence. Studies have shown that teens who like playing first-person shooter style games are likely to adopt a detached view of the society. They also develop aggressive thoughts and tendencies.

2. Social Isolation:

Another negative effect of video game is that teens are spending too much time playing games than playing outdoors. Video games are making teens socially isolated. Teenagers who play too much video games are also less likely to indulge in extracurricular activities like reading, writing and participating in sports.

3. Teaches Wrong Values:

Besides violent behavior, video game also teaches teens wrong values. Video games portray women as weaker characters. They depict women as helpless and sexually provocative personalities. Teens also pick up bad language and behavior while playing with other people online.

4. Poor Academic Performance:

This is one of the serious effects of video games on teens. Playing long hours of video games can affect your teen’s performance in school. If your teen spends more than two hours gaming, then he may have trouble falling asleep and paying attention in school. Video game addicts also skip their homework to play games, leading to a downfall in their grades.

5. Adverse Effects On Health:

Excessive gaming can have adverse effects on the teen’s health. Teenagers, by spending too much time playing video games, do not participate in activities that can keep them healthy and fit. It leads to obesity, muscular, skeletal and postural disorders, video-induced seizures, nerve compression and numbness in hands, elbows and shoulders.

Most kids plug into the world of television long before they enterschool. According to the  
Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF):
  • two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen an average of 2hours a day
  • kids under age 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screenmedia a day, primarily TV  
  • and videos or DVDs
  • kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in frontof a TV screen and almost 
  • 2 additional hours on the computer(outside of schoolwork) and playing video games
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kidsunder 2 years old not  
watch any TV and that those older than 2watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality  
The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for braindevelopment. TV and other 
electronic media can get in the way ofexploring, playing, and interacting with parents and  
others, whichencourages learning and healthy physical and social development.
As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activitiessuch as being physically 
active, reading, doing homework, playingwith friends, and spending time with family.
Of course, TV in moderation can be a good thing: Preschoolers canget help learning the 
 alphabet on public television, grade schoolerscan learn about wildlife on nature shows, 
 and parents can keep upwith current events on the evening news. 
 No doubt about it - TV canbe an excellent educator and entertainer.

  • Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per daywatching TV are more likely to be overweight.
  • Kids who view violent acts on TV are more likely to showaggressive behavior, and to fear that the world is scary and thatsomething bad will happen to them.
  • TV characters often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking anddrinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
Children's advocates are divided when it comes to solutions.Although many urge for 
more hours per week of educationalprogramming, others assert that zero TV is the best  
solution. Andsome say it's better for parents to control the use of TV and to teachkids  
that it's for occasional entertainment, not for constant escapism.
That's why it's so important for you to monitor the content of TVprogramming and set 
viewing limits to ensure that your kidsdon't spend too much time parked in front of the TV.