Video Games: The Effect on Kids


Video Games: The Effect on Kids     Two kids come home from school after a long day. One relaxes for a few minutes and starts his homework. The other, however, plays video games as soon as he gets home. The person who focused clearly and concentrated on his homework after coming home is easily finished and is able to do whatever he wants. The other plays video games and watches as the time goes by. Slowly, he feels a sense of entrapment as time is running out and the amount of homework seems huge. Because of this, he has more reason to put it off and ends up starting it much later than the first child. Some people might think the video games are the problem in this case, but this is not true. The real problem is the discipline that the child has to finish his homework and the amount of pressure put on the child. In fact, video games can be very good for children.

How?Although you might not notice, video games can have massive educational value. Based on an article published in the BBC, games like Sim City and Rollercoaster Tycoon (where players create societies or build theme parks) develop children's strategic skills. They present the user with a "where to go next" scenario. Games also increase proficiency at following directions, reading, writing, and spelling skills, and also fine tune hand-eye coordination (although in a limited range.) They can even be great stress relievers! 

GradesMany parents emphasize that video game playing should never be allowed on weekdays and only a few minutes on weekends, touting that they increase the level of laziness the child has. However, this is not the case. As long as parents make sure that they are on top of the child's homework, projects and studying, video games should not be a problem. Andrew Leto, an 8th grader, said that he would often play 2 to 3 hours of video games on average! Yet, he still retained a 95 average all of last year. The reason was that he would do his work first and play later. Video games are not the problem and even the amount of homework is not the problem, the problem is the children themselves. Of course parents should always closely monitor video game playing at all times.

ViolenceThere are many studies linking video games to violence, and of course, that is the case. However, it is not always true. James Gee, a professor at the University of Wisconsin says, "You get a group of teenage boys who shoot up a school, of course they've played video games. Everyone dies. It's like blaming food because we have obese people." He also goes on to state that there is a difference between shoving people and real physical violence. Even if you feel that your child is becoming violent, do not let them play them. There is a difference between Grand Theft Auto series and Sponge Bob games that are rated Teen and Mature respectively. The rating system even goes more in-depth to say what content is inside the game. If it says something like "fantasy violence", it is probably O.K.. If it says, "blood and gore" or "strong language", it is always not O.K.. Adults must even show identification if their child wants to buy an M rated game.

The EndWhile video games are not for everyone, if you like them, there is not any excuse not to play. Video games can have many good effects, such as increased learning skills and hand-eye coordination. Nevertheless, remember, video games are a form of entertainment, and must be treated as such. All work must be done first before even attempting to play one. Violence can derive from a video game, but parents have the right to say which video games children may or may not play. As long as kids do not play for hours on end and parents keep a close eye on them, there are no worries. It is just you and the game.


http://www.youchoose.net/campaign/best_video_game_everhttp://www.news.com/Photos-Xboxs-coming-out-party/2009-1043_3-5705475.htmlhttp://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,303277,00.htmlFox NewsVideo Games Are Good for KidsAuthor: Foxnews.comFriday, October 19, 2007http://nintendo.about.com/od/editorials/a/goodgaming.htmabout.com7 Steps to Make Video Games Good for Your KidsAaron Stanton