Positive Video Game Effects in Children

Photo by: sean dreilinger

In today’s society, many parents are watchful of the vast amounts of stimuli that their children could potentially be exposed to.  Movies, the Internet, and video games are just some of the everyday things children interact with and see.  Although some of this stimuli can arguably have negative impacts on young children, video games can also have positive influences and effects on young children.  One writer argues that video games can actually promote positive development in children:

  • Help to develop multi-tasking, quick thinking, hand-eye coordination, and resource management.    Not only do children have to control characters, but they are also responsible for making on the spot decisions to reach a goal.  Many sports games, like the famous Tony Hawk series, allow children to use control to do specific tricks.
  • Help to establish memory, math, logic, and, reading skills.  Reading tasks and solving problems using logic is present in a lot of games.  Games like Tetris, Words With Friends, and Sudoku are great ways to use brain activities.   
  • Help to give encouragement to players and teaches perseverance and determination to achieve certain goals.  Most games have some sort of ultimate goal that players work towards.  For instance, in the Mario Party games, players work to win the most stars.
  • Help to encourage communication and teamwork skills.  Video games are interactive and many allow for multiple players that are either in the same room or across the county, state, country, and even world!  At times players are competing against each other, but many games have teams.  Video games are also great for family and friend bonding.  For example, a game like NBA Jam allows players to have computer teammates or real teammates.  Regardless, one player has to appropriately work and cooperate with the other to win the game.
  • Help to relieve aggression rather than exemplify and promote it.  Video games can serve as a great way to allow children to relieve their aggression in a safe and structured environment.  Fighting games like Super Mario Smash Bros, which tend to be controversial and may not be right for all children, can help to relieve aggression.  Especially games that do not use guns and excessive violence.
  • Help to introduce children to new technologies.  As new technological advances are developed, video games are a great way for children to learn how new technologies work.  Things like the Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect are some of the newest technology that games have released. If 3D games have not already been released, they will probably be next!
Video games aren’t perfect and are not right for all children.  However, if the right type of games are selected, these games can actually have many positive effects on children. 

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