The Benefits of Video Games for Kids
April 13, 2015
Video Games for Kids
Video games go as far back as the 1950s. Educators created video games as a part of a computer science research program. It wasn’t until the 1970s to 80s when video games became introduced into the general public. Since their introduction into the general public, there have been eight generations of video game consoles up to 2015 and it seems that the creators coming up with different upgrades of consoles faster every day (History of Video Games, 2013). The video game business has definitely continued to be popular since they were first created.
The issue that the world is running into today is violence that is reenacted in the video games. There are so many video games that are created every year that are recreating war scenes and violent crimes. These video games are rated for 17+ and over and yet a lot of kids younger than seventeen are playing these games all the time. At this point most people are wondering if it is the video games that are causing this generation to murder, steal, and find themselves in jail or worse prison. A 2009 study found that it takes up to four minutes for the level of aggressive thoughts and feelings in children to return to normal after playing violent video games (Violent Video Games, 2014), is this the root cause of crime rate in young adults or is this what people are assuming it is because they need something to blame.
There is never a time that when there is a new technology, or a technology that seems to be booming at the present time, that everyone must question whether it is good or bad.
There’s been much debate about whether violence and sexual images in games are harmful to children, and many parents are concerned about the impact regular gaming has on their children. While the content of video games matters and parents are wise to supervise their children’s gaming habits, an increasingly voluminous body of research is revealing some educational and developmental benefits of gaming (Vilines, 2013).
Wow, who knew that there could possibly be benefits to gaming. Benefits are something people won’t hear about because this society is only concerned with the negative in the world. Looking past what negative is in the world people may see how video games help kids in education, increase confidence, and help them in their future careers.
Video game usage continues to grow, with 40 percent more users since the year 2006 (Gillette, 2013). It has been apparent that since shootings, bombings, and weapons being brought to school has been blamed on the growing rate of video games. Playing violent video games increases aggressive behavior and arousal.
A 2009 study showed that video games that show the most blood generate more aggressive thoughts. When blood is present in video games, there is a measurable increase in arousal and hostility (Violent Video Games, 2014).
What seems to be fun to kids of all ages seems to be the big problem for society today. Society continues to blame the violence on something that the kids are doing.
A study that was conducted by Irwin and Gross sought to identify effects of playing an “aggressive” versus “nonaggressive” video game on elementary school kids. Their results were that boys who played the aggressive game, compared to those who had played the nonaggressive game, displayed ore verbal and physical aggression to inanimate objects and playmates during free play sessions (Shin, 2008). It is curious to wonder why video games cause such an emotional impact and little kids that are supposed to be innocent and happy. It is apparent why a video game would make kids feel more aggressive towards others, especially since some games can make kids mad and irritated.
Another study by Karen E. Dill, ph.D. and Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., stated that violent video games were considered to be more harmful in increasing aggression than violent movies or television shows due to their interactive and engrossing nature (Shin, 2008). The television plays a big role in kid’s lives now days. It is crazy to think that video games are the worst for them then the television. As children are coming into their teenage years a lot of things change for them. It makes sense that video games impact a lot of their decisions and how they act in society. If the parental guidance is not up to par then they leave it to video games and television to teach them how to grow up in this world.
Video games today are definitely more violent then they every have been. With the way technology is going you can see the graphics are getting increasingly better, so the sight of blood and killing on the video games is more realistic. It is obvious to see why most parents don’t like their kids playing them. Scott Steinberg quotes: “Most video games do have quite a few redeeming qualities-even those with violent content. All games can and do have benefits for players, and in a number of different and sometimes surprising ways.” (News, 2011) Many people believe that video games don’t have benefits and are rated for adults only. There are quite a few games out there that are rated for adults only but 60 percent of video games are actually E for Everyone (News, 2011)
Video games are a normal part of children’s days. Most all families around the world have video game consoles with of course video games. What parents are not seeing is the educational factor of what these video games are giving their children. It has been scientifically proven that video games can help children’s brain development (Olsen, 2011) It helps their problem-solving skills, creativity, motor skills and multitasking (Gray, 2012). Just these few benefits from video games can help children to better with their education. It opens their minds to more things at once and gives them more brainpower to learn. A lot of schools today are fast paced, to be able to handle school mentally you must be a fast learner and video games are challenging kid’s minds to do that. A 2013 meta-analysis found that playing shooter video games improved a player’s capacity to think about objects in three dimensions just as well as academic courses to enhance these same skills, according to the study (University, 2013) If video games are helping kids to be better in school and challenge them more then why not let them play video games.
It is said that many children are anti-social in this generation, many scientists blame this on increasing amount of television, cell phones, and video games but did you know that more than 70 percent of gamers play with a friend. People who play video games, even if they are violent, that encourage cooperation are more likely to be helpful to others while gaming than those who play the same games competitively, a 2011 study found (Granic, 2013). So what has really changed is how these kids are playing with friends. They may not go to their house anymore but they are playing with them through the video games.
Video games are not just helping children now, video games are going to help children with their future careers.
Future career choices for today’s tots will no doubt be influenced by technology in a ways that is difficult for many parents to imagine. Skills learned and honed playing home console and video games, as well as mobile gaming apps, will undoubtedly be very valuable to students in the workforce of 2025 (News, 2011)
Technology is the main thing that drives the world today, so it would make sense that video games would help this future generation to do better at the careers they choose. Most all jobs now have some kind of technology crutch. They all use technology to make them better at what they do. Video games are going to be that educational factor these children will need to succeed. The federation of American Scientists (FAS) has proclaimed that:
Kids need more, not less, video game play. They argue that video games hold the potential to help address one of America’s most pressing problems-preparing students for an increasingly competitive global market (News, 2011).
The scientist even agree that the world runs on technology and that is how we will advance, so we need kids to play video games to acquire the skill needed to be successful.
The longer parents fight the fact that video games to them are aggressive and cause violence the longer the world will fall in despair because the next generation cannot keep up with the technology already created. They won’t be able to understand it. Kids do need limits to how much they are playing video games and for their age group limit the amount of grown up games their getting. Hope Gillette quotes:
I recommend that you spend some time having your child show you the games he or she likes and what they like about them before you start making usage rules, without understanding what they are doing, the rules will be arbitrary and the child will likely feel that the rules are unfair and don’t take his or her point into account.
Parents should be talking to their children about video game concerns. Without the communication with between parents and their child, the child may decided to rebel and play the kind of games parents don’t want them playing behind their back.
Today’s world runs with technology. Children today are the future, without them there will be no future to see. There has been a lot of research done about the violence of video games and a lot of research about blaming video games for the continued violence in our world. This can’t be used as the excuse for violence in young teenagers and kids. If it is stated correctly in our history, violence between mankind has been around since the beginning. So what was the blame for violence back then? It comes in the nature of man to have an aggressive side that can turn even worse. This is nothing new to todays society. What needs to be remember is that the benefits of video games are going to help the children with their education now, their social skills and their future careers.
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Olsen, C. (2011). 8 Reasons Video Games and Improve Your Child. Retrieved April 13, 2015,from Parents.com: http://www.parents.com/kids/development/benefits-of-video-games/#page=10
Shin, G. (2008, January 1). Video Games a cause of Violence and Agression. Retrieved April 15,2015, from brynmawr.edu: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1723
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Vilines, Z. (2013, January 27). Five Surprising Benefits of Video Games. Retrieved April 13,2015, from Goodtherapy: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/surprising-benefits-video-games-0127137
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