Most parents do not like the idea of children spending hours playing video games. Some believe gaming can corrupt the mind of young people.
Playing digital games is one activity that has been blamed by the media, society, and experts for the increase in violence and anti-social behaviors in young adults.
Do video games affect society?
Yes, video games can affect the society positively and negatively. It is the work of the parents, teachers and the society as a whole to monitor the activities and type of video games their children play.
According to research, gaming has more positive effects than the negative influence. Children can gain many benefits when they engage in gaming.
Video games make kids smart, it teaches them high-level thinking and can help develop problem-solving strategies.
Here are some benefits and negative effects of gaming on society.
Positive Effects of Video Games
Gaming is a brain workout. It makes the brain think and come up with problem-solving strategies. In most video games, there are many mental skills required to advance to the next level.
Some positive effects of digital games to society include:
1. Improving problem solving skills – when someone plays a video game, he or she trains the brain to develop ways to solve puzzles and other major issues.
2. Enhances hand-to-eye coordination – when playing an action video game, you are required to run and attack enemies all together. You also need to keep your position to avoid being attached.
This means you need to be alert by engaging your hand and your eyes. According to research, people who play digital games regularly are able coordinate well in life.
Some studies also show that games help to improve surgical skills, military and fighter pilots.
3. Help in planning – video-gaming helps in planning, management and logistics. Playing video-games such as Age of Empires and SimCity among others can help someone gain resource management skills.
4. Learn to multitask – another positive effect of gaming is learning to multitask. Players who engage in action video games are able to tackle more than one activity at a time.
A player learns to be flexible and can play several roles. Gamers can act as mentors and teach others how to play different parts of the game.
5. Quick thinking – gaming is an activity that enhances quick thinking and faster decision-making. In some cases, a player has less than a second to think and act.
This gives the brain a real workout. Today, video games are being used in military fields and hospitals. Games can be used as simulators to create real life scenarios.
6. Accuracy – gaming trains the player to make faster decisions accurately. This is also a skill that can be used in real life situations by military, drivers and pilots.
7. Helps to develop math and reading skills – a young gamer needs to learn and follow instructions. Also, he needs to follow the story-line and be able to advance to the next level or to win a battle.
Some games require players to add statistical data like numbers. This can help children enhance their reading and math skills.
8. Determination – in advanced levels of a game, the player may fail several times but keeps trying until he wins. The trials and the determination to succeed can also be applied in real-life situations.
9. Memory – when someone is playing games like Battlefield and Call of Duty, he or she needs to decide the type of information to remember.
This is determined by the tasks at hand. It helps you understand what to store in your memory.
10. Concentration – based on research, kids with attention problems can improve their concentration levels by playing video games.
Gaming at least two hours a day can enhance reading and helps children to concentrate longer.
11. Gaming introduces kids to technology – today, we are living in a modern high-tech society. This means everything involves technology from personal computers to cell phones.
And one of the best ways to introduce your child to technology is through gaming. Games help both girls and boys become interested in modern technology.
12. Gaming makes learning fun – the majority of kids love video games. The colors, animations, cartoons, the challenges and rewards make everything fun for children.
And a good way to help children learn is by making it fun. Gaming also makes difficult subjects such as math simple and entertaining.
13. Video games make children creative – regardless of race, gender or age, children who play digital games are more creative than non-gamers.
Many modern online games require that players be creative by adding colors, designs or styles to their characters.
14. Gaming improves eyesight – research shows that gamers have better eyesight than non-gamers. Playing digital games is an activity that trains the brain to spot even the smallest details.
15. Video games can help relieve pain – when a child is in pain, playing a game can keep the mind busy. And the best way to do this is to let them play something they really like.
Negative effects of gaming
1. Children who play violent video games for a long time are likely to have aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
However, the topic is debatable because several studies have shown that violent video games and real-life violence are not related.
2. Too much gaming can make a child socially isolated. A teenager can spend less time gaming and be active in sports, reading, doing homework and interacting with friends and family.
However, studies show that gaming does not replace the social life but expands it. This is because gamers can socialize with other people offline or online.
3. Academic achievements can be affected negatively when children spend most of their time playing video games.
Studies show that students who spend most of their time on computer playing games perform poorly in school.
It is also believed that gamers argue and undermine teachers, fight a lot with other students and score lower grades.
They also skip school and most of their lessons to play video games.
4. When a child is playing a digital game online, he or she can pick bad habits or language from other gamers.
Gamers can also be engaged in bad video games that can turn them hostile to other players.
5. Obesity is one of the major risks of gaming. Children spending all their leisure time playing video games can become obese and develop other health problems.
Teenagers need to exercise and become physically active in order to avoid becoming overweight.
Just like playing video games, life has rules you must follow. Gamers need to have a balance between playing video games and living their lives.
The key to maintain this balance is keeping a schedule of all your activities and completing the most important ones.
For parents, the most important thing is to monitor your children’s gaming time. Once they complete all their homework and chores, let them play video games.