Are Video Games Bad For Kids? 5 Ways Video Games Are Good For Your Child


So Who Are These People That Say Video Games Are Bad?

There is one thing I see seems to be a common factor between the people who make the claim that video games are bad for our children, age. Typically the people who claim children shouldn't partake in playing video games are the people who grew up in a time where video games didn't exist. These people are unaware of many of the aspects of playing, and simply think that sense they didn't play, children now have no reason to play either.

Chriskurisu 1216 is a new user here on HubPages who posed the question in the Q and A section " Will video games destroy our teens mind and possibly our future?" This user went on to blame video games for "academic downfalls in our kids performances". The user felt like "Games is like a drug and we should make the less of it as we can for our little ones for their future. We can't imagine our kids staying in your house without jobs." There are many issues with this opinion of video games, but the biggest would be the fact that all of those views have been proven wrong.

What I grew up on and I have yet to become a hardened criminal or anything like it.
What I grew up on and I have yet to become a hardened criminal or anything like it. | Source

Why is Video Gaming Important to Me?

I am a child of the 80's. The year of my birth, 1983, the good ole' grey Nintendo system came out. I played it throughout my childhood. Hours of my childhood belong to Mario and Luigi.

On top of being a child of video games I am a parent to one child with Autism and one child with Aspergers. Yes I lucked up and got two amazing children that both have issues that fall in the Autism spectrum. I was aware that my oldest had aspergers from a young age. My other son however was diagnosed at the age of 7 with late on set autism. Both of my sons thrive and make great progress with video games. They are an important part of their structured learning.

So I guess I have a reason to be a little bit biased about video games. I get to see first hand how they can be a benefit not only for autistic children but also for my healthy daughter. She has seen wonderful improvements in fine motor skills since we started letting her play video games.

What ways are video games good for your child? Are Video Games Good For Children With Autism?

  1. Video games increase brain volume in multiple parts of the brain. A study, conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, found that at least 30 minutes of gaming each day for a period of two months triggered significant grey matter increases in three areas of the brain: the right hippocampal formation, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the bilateral cerebellum. These regions of the brain are associated with functions such as spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, as well as fine motor skills of the hands. The study went on to say that video gaming may help mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disease.
  2. Video games are good for children with Cerebral palsy and Autism. Researchers at the Bloorview Research Institute in Canada and the Helene Elsass Center and University of Copenhagen in Denmark did a stufy on children with Cerebral Palsy. They found that using video gaming on top of their therapy helped increase balance and improve motor functions. Studies have also been done on autism and aspergers. A study conducted by Drs. Finke and Hickerson showed that "video games contributed to improved social skills, fine motor skills, language skills, reading and writing abilities, and critical thinking abilities in their children with ASD"
  3. Playing video with your children is good for your relationship. Research shows "Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids.” Elisabeth Hayes (Gee), Delbert & Jewell Lewis Chair in Reading & Literacy and professor in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, explains that "often parents don’t understand that many video games are meant to be shared and can teach young people about science, literacy and problem solving. Gaming with their children also offers parents countless ways to insert their own ‘teaching moment.’” In short, video games give just another way to connect with our children.
  4. Video Gaming is good for a child's mental health. Sure blaming video games for mass school shootings has become common, but the facts actually show that video gaming can cure depression in teens who are struggling. In 2012 researchers in New Zealand found that video gaming cured a large amount of their study group's depression. It also showed that video gaming was more effective than one on one counseling.
  5. Video Gaming can reduce ADHD. According to a study done by The Oxford University showed that "children who play video games for up to an hour a day are less hyperactive, more social and happier than those who don't play at all" This study, which focused on thousands of children, actually showed that children who played video games were better of mentally that children who were not allowed to play video games.


Parenting, EVERYTHING Goes Back to Parenting

Of course allowing your child to sit for hours straight doing ANYTHING is not good for them. That has nothing to do with video gaming itself and has everything to do with lack of parenting. A child doesn't fail simply because they enjoy playing. It is our job as parents to control the type and time of exposure to our children.

So let your children responsibly play video games. Sit down and play some with them. Many studies show adult brains get almost as much of a workout playing video games as a child's mind does. So this could be good for your child, good for you, and good for your relationship.

EVERYONE, Please stop blaming video games for what parents are failing at. Problems with children lie with the parents not a game.

Do you allow your children to play video games?

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LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

Hmmm. Fascinating research. I can definitely see the advantages for kids.

I'm thinking I'll take up video games as soon as there's a hint it might avoid Alzheimers!!! Are they doing any studies relating to those of us who were born long before the Nintendo revolution??

Great work here. I'm sharing it. :)

peeples profile image

peeples 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Actually they are already doing a good bit of research and it looks as though video games can both help diagnose and help prevent Alzheimers. Anything that makes the mind work and maintain information is good mental exercise!

Thanks for commenting and sharing! Have a great night LTM!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

Thanks, peeples. Next time my youngest is playing a video game with her dad, I'll ask them to explain the rules ... and buy another controller. Don't want to wait until I'm too old and senile to figure out what the buttons are for! :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I don't think there is any doubt that video games have positives, and, like anything else, excess can be detrimental. You presented your argument well, and as a former teacher, I agree with you.

mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I have been criticized by some friends and relatives that I have allowed my son to play video games. He is now 19 years old and still loves his games. I have always supervised the games he played.

He is a A student in school (always), and is very social and outgoing. I never saw the harm in him playing his games.

At least I knew where he was and what he was doing!

SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 2 years ago from Texas

My son won a tennis tournament after just a few hours of instruction over four successive days. I told him he must have a great coach to have started playing tennis on Monday and then win a tournament on Friday, but he told me he owed it all to Wii Sports! He said playing the Wii was where he really learned to play tennis.

peeples profile image

peeples 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks Bill! Anything in excess can be bad for us!

peeples profile image

peeples 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Mary your son goes o show that video games do not have to cause issues with grades. It's all a matter of being there to parent. I agree, better to have a child at home on video games than out partying!

peeples profile image

peeples 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

SAF, I don't know if video games will ever do me that good, but that is really cool! I have to admit I have always been a fan of Wii Sports. Thanks for commenting!

clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 2 years ago from Nibiru

just know the games you give them to play and monitor the hours they play, mix it with outdoor activities and ensure that they get time to study and feed them good nourishing body and brain food and wammo! you now have a super kid who is athletic, alert and probably a genius!!:-)

peeples profile image

peeples 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Very true Clivewilliams! Very good points!

JeanAnne Sunny profile image

JeanAnne Sunny 2 years ago from Franklin, Massachusetts (USA)

that's great.. both are interesting

Waldir 24 months ago

its easy to speculate about what's good and what's wrong stniitg in a warm room and watching youtube. Nothing personal. I'm talking about shock, stress and pain. Not long time ago i was the evidence of the situation where aa bus drive over a kid. All my I know how it will be in the best way' disappeared and in first moment i felt all my f*cking weakness. But its ok with a kid now.what about cayenne guy you don't speak russian but 99% comments 'bout him contains only strong words

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

awesome, i did noticed that my son's motor skills are better too

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i find that video games related to maths or skills are good for kids not fighting

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 20 months ago from Japan

I play Super Mario Wii U 3D with my daughter and I think it's great. The reason why, we play 2 player and it requires a good deal of communication and team work to proceed. Plus, her mother tongue is not English, we don't live in an English speaking country and her English is not that strong. I make it a rule that communication when playing games HAS to be in English. It's like killing two birds with one stone for me, fun and education.

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