25+ Positive & Negative Effects of Video Games, According to Studies
Are 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 https://firstname.lastname@example.org/computer-games-and-children-what-are-their-advantages-99144fbbf664– 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.
According to Marc Palaus, author of the study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, there is a broad consensus in the scientific community that playing video games not only changes how the brain performs, but also its structure.
Below are the good and bad effects of video games – their benefits and disadvantages, according to researchers and child experts:
Are Video Games Good for You? The 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.
The main benefits of playing video games involve enhancing mental skills that include:
Cognitive researcher Daphne Bavalier talks about how video games can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.
More Benefits of Video Games:
Are Video Games Bad for You? The Negative Effects of Video Games
This, however, is still hotly debated because there is also evidence that shows that excessive use of video games does not lead to long-term desensitization and lack of empathy. A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, for example, didn’t find any long-term effects of playing violent video games and empathy. Another study from University of York and another by the Royal Society found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent, and another study suggests that there is no increase in the level of aggression of players who had long-term exposure to violent video games. A 2020 reanalysis of a number of independent studies did not find a clear link between video game and both violence and agression in children. This finding was again confirmed when no evidence was found that violence against other people increases after a new violent video game is released, although some children do display aggression by destroying objects, not attacking people.
Although politicians oftentimes declare video games as a cause of gun violence, there is currently little scientific evidence that links playing video games, even the “gruesome and grisly” ones, to violence.
Also, a meta analysis conducted by the Stentson University psychologist Christopher Ferguson, that examines 101 studies found that “violent video games had little impact on kids’ aggression, mood, helping behavior or grades.” According to Ferguson, “Any claims that there is consistent evidence that violent video games encourage aggression are simply false.” Others like Benjamin Burroughs, a professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas found that there are no longitudinal studies that show a link between violence and video games, and although players experience short-term increase in aggressive thoughts and feelings after playing video games, it doesn’t rise to the level of violence. Also, men who commit severe acts of violence actually play video games less than the average male, according to Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University.
Frequent binge gaming or playing video games for more than 5 hours consecutively, was found to be associated with lower life satisfaction and sleep quality, and with more major depression and social anxiety disorder symptoms.
Click here for more info on video game addiction, how to treat it, and tips on how to avoid getting your kids addicted to video games.