A Balanced View of Gaming.

I wanted to level the playing field a bit, and allow my readers to understand that I do in fact realise that video gaming¬†can pose negatives, if it is overused, just the same as anything can. I mean, if you eat too many bananas, it’s bad for you. Seriously bad.

Video games can be addictive, and many of the benefits of gaming that I’ve spoken about require that the user plays in moderation, or under the right circumstances. Playing Portal for a few hours a week will help boost your reaction time and cognitive behaviour, but constantly playing it non-stop may not have that effect – it may diminish your concentration or personal life.

Think of video games as fruit and veg in your diet. Sure, vegetables and fruit are great for you, but if you exclusively eat fruit and vegetables every single day without any proteins or iron, then your body will start to diminish and you won’t feel all that healthy. It’s about striking the right balance between playing games, getting physically fit and stimulating your mind in other ways.

There’s a great article about this that I shared on our Facebook page¬†on this topic. The article was based around a study of children who played games from 1-3+ hours per day. The children who played around an hour per day were better adjusted, yet those who played over 3 hours a day were worse off. If you want to read more about this, you can check out the article here

4 Reasons Why You Should Let Your Child Play Video Games.

children-playing-videogames
In moderation of course!

4. Video Games can help the development of ethics and language

When children play certain types of video games they are faced with both interaction and decision. They are often placed in emotional gripping situations where their actions effect the outcome of the story, or the characters within that story. These situations can be character building and give them a sense of understanding into ethics and language that carries into the real world. In fact, a school in Norway teaches literature and ethics through gaming. For example, the students were asked to play the popular The Walking Dead series and respond to the challenges faced in the game based on what they had learnt about moral philosophy. You can read more on that here

3. Increases decision making speed

Playing video games requires focus by their nature. An article out of phys.org suggest that this focus can increase sensitivity to what’s going on around a person, and help boost their ability to multi-task and make decisions. While this isn’t exclusive to children, this kind of mental development is reason enough to let your child play video games.

2. Increases Attention Span & Cognition

As mentioned previously, video games require a lot of focus and attention. A consistent level of focus on what point is bound to lead to an overall increase in attention span. A study out of New York University suggests that playing fast-paced games can increase attention span and reaction time, including helping a child in the classroom with subjects like Math. You can read more on this here

1. It Will Make Them Happier

This one might seem a bit obvious. Kids love playing games, so playing games makes for happier kids. This isn’t just speculation, an Oxford University study suggests that kids that play games just a few hours a day are more likely to be happy, well adjusted, emotionally stable, socially outgoing and form a larger circle of friends in the real world. If this isn’t enough reason, then I don’t know what is.