Nowadays the advancements of technology have allowed the development of more videogame consoles. Since the release of consoles like Wii and Playstation Move , videogames changed from a stationary to a moving activity. Although popular amongst young adults, videogames are also targeted from children. Throughout the years, the effect that they have on kids has been a source of controversy.
It is a popular belief that videogames promote violent behavior and the use of weaponry, as well as decreasing physical activity. However, unlike TV watching, the use of videogames is not related to snacking and hence to obesity even in motionless game consoles. Actually, research has shown that certain kind of videogames have a positive impact on children’s cognitive and fine motor skills. Researchers at the Integrative Neuroscience in the University of California have found that playing a video game causes an improvement in memory formation, fine motor, spatial orientation and planning skills. Apparently, the use of videogames boosts cognition, especially in children, since their brains are still developing.
However, just like with any other activity, videogame playing in excess can be harmful. It is estimated that today’s children spend up to 7 hours exposed to media, including TV watching, videogames and other electronic device exposure. Yet, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours per day of any media exposure. Research has shown that excessive video game use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, obesity and even interpersonal relationship problems. This problem can be easily prevented by limiting daily video game playing hours.
Violent video games have been linked to higher levels of aggression in men, but due to their complexity they are rarely used by players under the age of 15. Most videogames thou, portray at least certain level of aggression since the goal is almost always to kill a villain, even if there are no guns involved. Luckily, the market now offers an extensive variety of videogames aimed specifically at certain age groups and violent games are easily recognizable.
Overall, it seems that playing nonviolent or a Short Time May Be Beneficial for kids but excessive use has the opposite effect. Even daily game play has been proved to have no detrimental consequences on children as a study conducted by the University of Oxford shows. This leads us to think that perhaps getting that video game to little Mark for his birthday might not be such a bad idea after all.