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  • The Influence Of Video Games

    People, especially parents, worry about the effects of video games on children. In general, their most common concern describes the resulting violence that might arise on children from too much exposure to video games. As per an article by Dr. C. Shawn Green, a psychologist in the University of Wisconsin, video games tend to change the structure of the human brain. Playing video games is very similar to other learning activities such as playing musical instruments, solving puzzles, and even reading books. Such learning activities exercise and strengthen neural circuits that promote brain activities. Thus, frequent and focused exposure to video games gives the human brain an intense workout.

    However, learning experiences caught on too much exposure to video games have two distinct sides. Exposure to video games has both negative and positive effects. Now, how do we know that our children get what we want from their playtime? The answer lies on the nature and scope of the video game. It will clearly depend on the video game itself.

    Positive effects

    Video games which possess pro-social and helpful content has a huge impact in improving the personalities of children, especially adolescents who are evidently known to have more exposure time to video games than younger ones. In almost all video game that is released today requires sets of skills in order to win. RPGs (role playing games), shooting and puzzle solving games often require these sets of skills which involve critical and high-level thinking. These gaming skills promote positive cognitive effects to children such as following instructions, logical thinking, problem-solving, hand-and-eye coordination, spatial skills, planning and resourcefulness, logistics and multitasking. Parents and psychologists argue that in most cases, these skills aren’t even taught in school. Thus, children that are exposed to puzzle and pro-social video games seem to evidently have better academic performances than those who are not. Children who tend to focus on plain books has a lesser level of logical thinking and problem-solving skills as opposed to children who frequently play video games.

    Negative effects

    Though there is at least one out of ten known scientific evidence that pushes the idea of negative effects of video games, parents are still worried on the influence of video games to children. The idea on the negative effects of video games lies on the violence and the unfriendly effects they contain. Despite the benefits mentioned above, the effect of video game violence to children is greatly influenced by the game’s interactivity. However, as per the American Psychological Association (APA), press and media releases are often misleading. The APA implied that there is no scientific evidence which pushes violence in video games to criminal violence in adolescents. As such, experts of Massachusetts Institute of Technology depicted the relative decrease in the number of adolescent crimes when compared to the increased number of seemed to be “violent” video games.

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