In what ways do video games affect children and teenagers?

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Children and teens are affected both positively and negatively by domestic video games. Children's psychological development is influenced by violent video games, which cause them to become more aggressive as they grow older. However, the industry is rich in entertainment, meaning that children are not bored. According to estimates, the video game industry takes in around $12 billion a year (Chacha, 2014). The video game industry has expanded immensely since its inception in the 1990s, and it is vital to comprehend why this industry is experiencing such rapid growth (Bernard, Video games and children, 2017).

As a parent in this day and age of technology there are very high chances that your children has played video games and it is therefore important to understand both the positive and negative effects of video gaming. In the early days of 1980s the computer games were more rudimentary but Nintendo entertainment system created a resurgence in the gaming industry that has revolutionized it completely, today there are educational games and casual games which range from mobile games to role playing(Gartner, 2013). Some parents detest video games as they view them as time wasters to their children and corrupt the brain but some scientists argue that playing video games while young makes one smart and analytical in problem solving. However playing violent games lead to children committing extremely anti-social behaviors and some children can turn violent.

What video games mean to our children and teenagers today

In America alone more than 81% of the children play a video game once a month or even more than once(Vargas, 2006). The statistics is even higher for children below the ages of 13 years as they tend to take more than 13hours a day which really take up their time.

(Gartner, 2013)

The question we need to ask ourselves is I necessary to stop our children from playing video game? Video games are more prevalent in growing children and it will proof difficult to stop the habit because most children want to stay indoors(Mathew, 2009). Video games come in many forms and types therefore it would be difficult to say out rightly that video games are bad or good. There are a number of studies out there that elaborate the cons and pros of video games on both children and teenagers.

The positive effects of video games on children and teenagers.

There is an argument by scientists that when a child is actively involved in playing a video game they gain high level thinking which a rare skill not found in school(Paul, 2003). The positive effect of video games include the following:

Logic and problem solving skill

Some video games enhance creativity to children by coming up with different ways of problem solving such as the angry bird, the incredible machine and the cut the rope(Gartner, 2013).

(Vargas, 2006)

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The coordination between eyes and hand skills

 The shooting game involve character running from enemy and at the same time need to shoot back the enemy this require a player to have coordination between eyes and hand which is a great skill(Paul, 2003). What the player is required to do is great coordination between the eyes and hands and interpret the situation to defeat the enemy by running away from danger and shooting back at the same time. Video games have been associated with better visual attention skills and even adults learn the spatial iconic attention through video games. Surgical skills have also been indicated to improve though playing of video games in adults, the reason why fighter pilots are better today than those who did not participate in playing video games is because they have gained a rare skill over time.

Logistics planning and good resource management

 The video game player is able to utilize resources in a better manner as they could have utilized in real life situation to be able to win a game.Sim City video game has indeed inspired a lot of children to take a course in urban planning and architecture(Bernard, Video games and children, 2017). Other games that have been associated with skill development in resource management include the Age of Empires and Railroad tycoon.

Managing a number of objectives and simultaneous tracking of many variables enable the players to multi task even in real life.

In city development for instance an enemy emerges from nowhere and a player must be alert and destroy them before they bring the building done(addtiction, 2007).

Quick decision making and analytical skills

In most instances in the game a player does not have luxury of time this ensures the brain is always engaged and worked upon(Vargas, 2006). Real world stressful situations are trained in instances borrowed from the game according to a research done in the University of Rochester by one Dalphne Bavelier. Quick decision making skills are easily developed by playing action games as suggested by the study(Paul, 2003). According to this study the training of soldiers and surgeons can be done through video games, it’s a better way of practicing than learning from real life situations. The two careers require quick decision making and lack of it is detrimental, a single decision made at the right time makes all the difference in the battle field or in surgery room.


The University of Rochester also indicated in the same study that decision made must be accurate and this is what the video games teach students(Bernard, Video games and children, 2017). Even in today’s world decision making is crucial while made on time and without compromising on quality of the decisions made. In the video games the players are able to make better decisions faster which in turn prepares them for real life.

Anticipation and strategy

In telescoping Johnson notes that the gamer must be keen on the horizon and the possible problems that might occur(addtiction, 2007).

Negative effects of video games on children and teenagers.


When gaming becomes the only thing a child wishes to do then there is a problem, because what that means is the child has become addicted and has become unwilling or unable to participate in the extracurricular activities(Vargas, 2006).

When you note your child slowing pulling away from social events and concentrating on gaming then they have become too preoccupied and this is dangerous for their development(Paul, 2003). Also when children avoid some chores to play games and other hobbies to play some video games then there is a big problem that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Suffering Relationships

When your child is engrossed in gaming for long periods of time then the relationships with close family members and friends become strained because little time is spent together.There is a dangerous gaming website,the online gamers which affects children negatively by teaching them to always talk about gaming and argue (Mathew, 2009). The website lies about gaming and advocates for excessive gaming which is a danger to children.

Increased Aggression

When a video game is about violence then there is a big problem, because the gamers develop affinity for violence and they tend to think that violence is the solution to worlds problem (Mathew, 2009). Children who play violent games often develop aggressive tendencies with time and they may think real life is a similar scenario once of the most affected is the children who play the first person shooter video games.

(Gartner, 2013)

(Chacha, 2014)

Performing poorly

When a child is too much into playing video games this has an adverse effect on their school work which is not good (Chacha, 2014). At school the children who are always involved in video games tend to lag behind, this is so because they tend to spend long periods gaming instead of learning. These children are also reserved and antisocial because they perceive socialization as time wasting. Gaming is also exhausting and works up the brain which in turn make children lose concentration.More hours of gaming means less hours of sleep and sleep relaxes the mind which is very important.

Health Problems

When a child loses sleep due to video games and even skips some meals because they view them as time consuming then their health will be compromised this has direct effect on their health(Bernard, Video games reserch ratings and recommendations, 2014).

Child obesity sets in when the children have less time to play actively, this inactivity coupled with huge intake of food leads them to add on extra weight. There has been medical problems associated with long periods of gaming such as backaches and eye strain, some feel pain on their wrists and elbows this has been noted by University of Texas in Dallas(Bernard, Video games and children, 2017).


Video gaming is quite controversial in today’s world like so many other issues affecting the society. There is a thin line between enough gaming and excessive gaming though according to studies done the children who engage in excessive games become addicted easily.Gaming needs moderation by the parents, it is the responsibility of parents to understand what their children watch because violent video games have negative effects on children.

On the other hand there are games that are quite educational and aid in development of the brain especially those that involve puzzle solving. When done in moderation video gaming brings joy to children and is a tool for cognitive development.When parents try to expose their children to cognitive development there is a risk of them becoming addicted to gaming and there is also a high risk of becoming obese. It is important for parents to know what their children watch and for how long, this is the only way to monitor them, and this is not too difficult to parents because the Entertainment Software Rating Board has ratings that offer concerned parents information about the content of the games.

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“Gartner Says Worldwide Video Game Market to Total $93 Billion in 2013.”Gartner Says Worldwide Video Game Market to Total $93 Billion in 2013. Gartner, 29 Oct. 2013. Web.

“Video Game Addiction: 81% of American Youth Play; 8.5% Are Addicted.”Metrics 2.0: Business and Market Intelligence. Metrics 2.0, Jan. 2007.

Cesarone, Bernard. “Video Games and Children – Child & Adolescent Development: Overview.” Gracepoint. Gracepoint. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Cesarone, Bernard. “Video Games: Research, Ratings, Recommendations. ERIC Digest.” ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education Champaign, IL. November 1998. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

JAMES PAUL GEE. “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.” ACM Computers in Entertainment. Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2003.

Matthew W.G. Dye, C. Shawn Green, and Daphne Bavelier. “Increasing Speed of Processing With Action Video Games.” A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Vol. 18 No. 6 (2009) : 321-326.

Tumbokon, Chacha. “The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games.”Raise Smart Kid. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Vargas, Jose Antonio. “Virtual Reality Prepares Soldiers for Real War.” Washington Post 14 February, 2006.

September 21, 2021


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