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Saturday October 21, 2017

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The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games

Positive Effects of Video Games

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.

Playing video games may also help children develop problem-solving skills, the authors said. The more adolescents reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem solving and school grades the following year, according to a long-term study published in 2013. Children’s creativity was also enhanced by playing any kind of video game, including violent games, but not when the children used other forms of technology, such as a computer or cell phone, other research revealed.

The article emphasized that educators are currently redesigning classroom experiences, integrating video games that can shift the way the next generation of teachers and students approach learning. Likewise, physicians have begun to use video games to motivate patients to improve their health, the authors said. In the video game “Re-Mission,” child cancer patients can control a tiny robot that shoots cancer cells, overcomes bacterial infections and manages nausea and other barriers to adhering to treatments

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.

Defense News reported that the Army include video games to train soldiers to improve their situational awareness in combat. Many strategy games also require the player to become mindful of sudden situational changes in the game and adapt accordingly.

Negative Effects of Video Games

If your child spends all of his free time playing video games and skips meals or loses sleep because of excessive game play, a video game addiction can negatively impact his health. Children who spend more than two hours a day in front of a television or video games in lieu of participating in physical activity may suffer from childhood obesity. In addition, the University of Texas at Dallas notes that the addiction can lead to such medical issues as backaches, headaches, eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome--pain and numbness that your child may feel in his wrists, hands, shoulders and elbows.

Most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain.  Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping, according to a scientific study.  Also according to Dmitri A. Christakis of the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, those who watch a lot of simulated violence, such as those in video games, can become immune to it, more inclined to act violently themselves, and are less likely to behave emphatically.

Relationships with friends and family members may suffer if your child is spending more time gaming than he is talking to or going out with loved ones. The On-Line Gamers Anonymous website notes that gaming may be negatively affecting your child's life if he only wants to talk about video games, lies to cover up the amount of time he spends playing, and argues with you over his excessive gaming.

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