Modern technology has introduced many activities with the intention of bringing a positive development for the children. However, there are a number of practices that can possibly have a negative impact on the kids. One of the common issues that affect children in a bad way is video games. They consume a lot of spare time of the children and minimize the time they could set aside for studies and other forms of development. Apart from wasting time, video games can introduce immoral behaviors especially when played without supervision. Video games bring addiction to children when not controlled by parents or guardians. Addiction is another negative effect of video games. Nevertheless, apart from the poor influence, video games have a number of benefits that make them one of the most encouraged programs for the children during developmental stages. Among them there are possibilities of brain and cognitive health development, empathy acquirement, as well as the reduction of pain and many others. The paper will discuss the benefits of playing video games.
Video games enable brains of children to develop since a person is made to think faster and still maintain the rules of the game. In many cases, video games are used as therapy for patients who are suffering from medical disorders. When the brain of a child develops, they can understand more things and take a short period of time to think critically and make sound decisions. For instance, according to Bavelier & Davidson (2012), those children who played in shooter games continuously “saw more small visual details in the middle of a clutter and more accurately distinguished between various shades of grey”.
Video games can teach children empathy. It is acquired through interacting with others and actively thinking of what others are about to do while playing against you. Empathy occurs when a child is playing a game and is required to know what to do to avoid failing in it (Granic & Engels, 2013).
Development of Cognitive Health
All video games are designed in the way that makes a player think tactically, follow some rules, fulfill numerous objectives, and render fast decisions to win. The combination of all these skills results in positive development of cognitive health. It occurs because all the cognitive skills applied in the game are important in one’s life (Savage, 2014).
Like adults, children suffer from challenging situations that stress them and prevent them from operating normally. During school time, a child can experience problematic situations that can be quite stressful. Nevertheless, after school they can relieve the stress playing video games. Video games require concentration, critical thinking and prevent diversion of the mind. Therefore, when the child starts playing, they forget all the challenges of the day and concentrate on one thing. After playing the game, the child does not have time to re-visit the initial challenges of the day, remembering only the fun they have recently acquired.
Development of Hands and Eyes Coordination
In many areas of activity, people are required to apply more than one sense at a go. Among the most commonly coordinated senses there are hearing, seeing, and manual dexterity. When engaging in video games, a player is required to coordinate their eyes and hands. Video games improve the ability of a child to coordinate these organs in an effective manner since it is a requirement in the games that children do for fun. Being absorbed in the game, children are amused and do not even notice that they are learning important skills of life, focusing majorly on the fun. It results in their preparedness for future practical challenges such as typewriting where hand-eye coordination is strongly required.
Reduction of Pain
Today, many hospitals are using video games to keep patients engaged in an activity thus making them forget intense pain. While playing, a player is required to concentrate on the game and consider the strategy to win against the competitor. During this activity, they do not have time to think about how they feel or focus on the pain. In this case, video games are used as a source of fun to distract children from thinking about suffering and hence prevent them from experiencing grievous pain (Disposable culture, 2012).
All the children eventually love fun. Besides, they like competing with each other on easy issues that they feel they can do best. Video games usually start at a slow speed which increases as a child improves. While playing, a child can learn many important aspects of life, for instance psychological, and health issues. Video games also trigger critical thinking - a factor that makes a child think beyond what they can see. The initial idea of thinking is to beat a competitor. However, in the process, a child learns many things that are important in their lives, both at young age and in the future. In addition, having realized that children are fond of video games, many companies started to use their games as teaching kits to help children gain knowledge while playing. Granic & Engels (2013) put special emphasis on the possibilities of learning through the games: “Educators are currently redesigning classroom experiences, integrating video games that can shift the way the next generation of teachers and students approach learning”. Thus, there are a number of opportunities for the video games to be a perfect teaching tool.
Many of the video games are designed to develop children’s power of imagination and think critically to solve delicate issues. For instance, a child may be required to come into the world of an army general leading soldiers in a battle field. In such cases, child’s imagination power is boosted, while they are required to utilize imaginational ideas in practice (AsapSCIENCE, 2014).
To sum up, video games have both positive and negative impacts on the children. These games boost brain development and encourage the advancement of imagination, reduce the pain and can possibly eliminate the stress, help achieve some skills that are necessary for the children in their future life. Besides, video games could stand as a perfect method of teaching where the kids gain knowledge while playing. Certainly, the negative impacts also exist and could lead to the undesirable consequences. Nevertheless, it is a parents’ duty to control their children’s leisure, choose appropriate games that are acceptable for primary schoolers, help them develop in a nonintrusive way. Supervising children programs will allow the video games to bring benefits to the children instead of harm.