Are video and smartphone games good or bad for our children?

2016.06.30

Children today live in a society where there is a lot of information at their fingertips.
It is difficult for them to participate in society without being exposed to video and smart phone games.
In this article, we will discuss the effects these games have on children.

There are more benefits to these games than many adults think.

Most parents believe that children should not be exposed to video and smartphone games on a regular basis. However, playing these games is not purely negative.
The following benefits exist when children have fun playing these types of games.

Improved ability to think as well as a greater imagination

Games often include complicated functionality and lots of characters coming in and out of the story.
By understanding each function and character and moving ahead with the game children are able to improve their thinking ability and their imaginations.

Improved memory

When children are in the midst of a game, they are constantly excited and having fun.
As a result, dopamine is released in the brain which encourages the brain to work harder.
This leads to an improvement in memory.

Improved restraining power and attentiveness

While playing games, children need to pay attention to the details.
This causes them to focus on the game and ignore what is around them.

Improved planning and execution skills

In order to succeed in the game, children need to think about and plan ahead of time their strategy before attempting to execute it.
When they are successful, they learn the benefit of planning before executing which is an important skill in their future lives.

There are also some negative effects that cannot be ignored.

Although there are many benefits, playing too many games can also have some negative effects.

Difficulty concentrating

Game screens change constantly so children become used to constant movement and have difficulty staying on the same screen for an extended period of time.
Although children who play games frequently may be good at reacting to external stimuli, it is often difficult for them to concentrate on one topic for an extensive period of time.

Visional difficulties

When playing video games, children spend a lot of time looking at the screen, which often leads to problems with vision.
It is important to take frequent breaks away from the screen.

Lower grades

Games are created to encourage users to want to continue until the next stage.
Even adults who play games have trouble stopping.
This is even more difficult for children who have little independence.
Playing too many games may also give children less time to study during the day, which may lead to lower grades in school.

It is important for parents to speak with their children and set rules.

Children can gain some knowledge from playing games but playing too much may also inhibit their learning.
It is important to set limits on how many hours a day your child can play games.

However, if you all of sudden say “only one hour”, most likely your child will want to play even more given they do not know the reason behind your statement.

It is better to say “playing games should be limited to one hour so that you have time to finish your homework and also protect your vision”.
Please try to use simple phrases that children will understand when giving orders.

Playing games in this manner will allow your child to gain the benefits without the disadvantages.
It is important that rules are determined along with the child instead of just being enforced on them.

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