Games have been very popular among children and teenagers at age of seven to sixteen-year-old. In the earlier days, when there were no or fewer computers, kids used to visit arcades with pockets full of change to play those big game machines, and nowadays they play games on the Internet, computers, or electronic game systems. The gaming industry has become one of the biggest industries with the release of game systems, such as Wii, X-box 360, and PS3.
By the law of nature, every aspect has its pros and cons; games are not exceptional.
- Researchers have found that frequent game players score better at vision tests as compared to non players. It has also been found that playing those strategy games, which use the brain efficiently, could improve children’s analytic skills and decision making skills.
- Games built with the vivid graphics, the quality of sound, and the interactivity, are attractive to kids more than traditional instructional contents. Educational games help kids to improve their communication and problem solving skills, alertness, locating things easily and so on. It also has been found that by playing educational games, kids improved in their mathematics, spelling and reading grades. Some schools are planning and researching ways to integrate such games into the academic curriculum.
- Playing games too much will affect kids’ health. Medical specialists have confirmed that kids who spend too much time playing games not only are easily affected to long terms problems like bad posture and RSI (repetitive strain injury), but it also causes a disequilibrium in their daily routine. Common problems found among kids who play too many games are eye strains, headaches, wrist, neck and back pains, etc.
- A controversial new research has proved that excessive playing of games can actually affect the growth of a human brain. Because some games stimulate activity only use parts of the brain associated with vision and movement. As we know, the brain, which is associated with learning, memory and emotion, continues to develop till the age of 20.
- In addition, spending lot of time just sitting makes a child less active compared with outdoor activity, which leads to childhood obesity.
- Some games are very violent in nature, which has negative effects on young minds causing kids have a tendency to lose control and become more aggressive.
- Spending too many hours on game machines could also cause social problems, resulting in kids becoming shy and introvert, and low social skills, such as on making friends.
Games can be extremely fun for kids and do provide certain benefits, but too much will cause opposite effect. Parents need to keep track of how much time their kids spend in playing games and also check what type of games they play. As parents, we should teach and help kids to try to maintain a balance and get the best of what games offer while limit the side effects.