After years of blame and demonization, it turns out video games are good for kids after all!
Video games have been a cause for concern for many parents since the explosion in their popularity; worries about their younglings being lost for hours in their bedrooms, glued to screens in virtual worlds they have no control over have always been common. Fears of negative effects on their behavior, brain function, mental health, and social skills have been voiced by many a mom or dad fearful of the potential side effects.
Gaming has often been made the scapegoat for many a tragedy; personal responsibility has almost vanished as our culture has declined, and allowed us to point the finger at anything but ourselves. So it’s a wonderful thing for us to discover some truly good news about video gaming for once; that far from being the source of evil that inspires normal kids to do hideously abnormal things, it’s actually good for kids, and gaming can improve their cognitive performance.
Violent video games are not to blame
The massive growth of the industry in the last 20 years, and the swift change in the demographic makeup of gamers, have combined to create negative concerns about the effect on kids. A recent US survey of 2-17 year-olds discovered that 71% of them play video games, up from 67% in 2018.
While much of the academic focus on the effects of video gaming has linked video gaming with negative associations such as increases in aggressive behavior, depression, and violence, the considerable growth of the brain between birth and adolescence has inspired researchers to examine such potential positive associations as improved brain function and improved problem-solving skills.