Video Games and Children: Playing with Violence No. Video gaming is a multibillion-dollar industry bringing in more money than movies and DVDs.
Are we doing kids a disservice by letting them play on a daily basis? Or does gaming actually help sharpen a child's mental faculties, and perform better in school? We need more research to answer these questions definitively.
In particular, we need randomized, controlled experiments, and those are lacking. But based on the limited information we have now, it seems that extreme claims on either side of the spectrum are wrong.
On the one hand, playing video games probably doesn't harm school performance -- not as long as kids don't play so much that they neglect school-related activities, like reading, or skimp on sleep.
And not as long as the games they play are age-appropriate, and don't cause emotional troubles. On the other hand, video games aren't a magical pill for boosting IQ, or transforming poor students into excellent ones.
But it appears that kids who play games with moderate frequency -- a few hours a week -- tend to have better academic skills than kids who don't play video games at all. In addition, there is evidence that certain types of games can enhance spatial skills, and possibly help children with dyslexia learn to read.
Here are the details. What happens when we introduce video games into the home? The best way to understand the effects of video games on school performance is to conduct randomized, controlled experiments. As I've already noted, these are in short supply. But one exception is a small experiment conducted by Robert Weis and Brittany Cerankosky.
They selected 64 boys living in the U. Then they randomly assigned each boy to one of two conditions: And they found evidence of an effect. Not only did the kids with new game systems spend less time doing homework, they also performed worse on standardized tests of reading and writing four month's later.
Moreover, their teachers were more likely to report academic problems Weis and Cerankosky That sounds worrying, but we have to keep in mind: It's just one small study, and critics raise the point that these kids had never before owned a game console.
Maybe they slacked off at school because gaming was a novelty. If the study had tracked them longer, maybe these kids would have eventually learned to balance school and game play Drummond and Sauer In support of this idea, a larger, correlational study of more than 3, school children found no evidence for reduced achievement among habitual gamers.
On the contrary, video game playing in this study was actually linked with higher academic achievement -- even after the researchers controlled for socio-economic status and other relevant factors Kovess-Masfety et al Other studies hint that it's the kind of game play that matters.
It's a highly-regarded scholastic achievement test taken by year-olds throughout the world. Does performance on this test correlate with video game use? Multi-player gaming, rather than single-player gaming, was linked with lower performance in reading.
In this study, frequent use of multi-player games was associated with a "steep reduction in achievement," particularly among struggling students, and particularly for students taking pencil-and-paper as opposed to computer-based tests.
So there is reason for concern, but the evidence is mixed.
Video game detractors seem eager to publicize studies that support their views. But the evidence suggests that there isn't any simple lesson regarding the effects of video games on school performance. Frequent use of multi-player games may put youth at higher risk for poor reading performance, perhaps because kids replace reading time with the excitement of multi-player games.
Playing violent video games may have a small -- but negative -- effect on behavior. And some kids may use games excessively -- so much that gaming dominates their lives and interferes with study time.
But the PISA studies suggest that moderate gaming may have little or no negative effect on school achievement, and it might even have a positive effect. As I note elsewhere, there is also reason to think that playing action video games can boost visual spatial skillsand perhaps even help dyslexic children improve their reading ability.
So there are both costs and benefits associated with video games, and these vary depending on how and when kids play. It's also possible that the effects vary with content of a game.Aug 27, · In other words, video games are comparable to other kinds of imaginative play.
And play, most folks tend to agree, is of vital importance. Adults and children need more of it. Because video games are so prominent in children’s lives, it is difficult to prevent them from playing video games entirely– but is that even necessary? With such a variety of game types out there, it is difficult to say if video games in general are good or bad.
Apr 03, · The kinds of video games that the kids played appeared to have no effect after the researchers adjusted their statistics so factors such as gender wouldn't have an effect. Because video games are so prominent in children’s lives, it is difficult to prevent them from playing video games entirely– but is that even necessary?
With such a variety of game types out there, it is difficult to say if video games in general are good or bad. Do Video Games Influence Children? The American Academy of Pediatrics answers the question, "Do violent video games influence children?" with its report from back in that says there is a significant influence.
FRIDAY, April 3, (HealthDay News) -- A small study offers a mixed view on whether video games may make kids more aggressive. Those children who spend more time playing games might be slightly likelier to be hyperactive and to get into fights.