Do you hear yourself asking your child to leave his room and come down for their dinner, and the usual response you receive is “One more minute”?
If this sounds familiar to you, then you’re not alone! Children’s video games can be a minefield for parents to navigate!
Since the first consoles appeared fifty years back, video games have unquestionably come a long way – and tend to evolve with each passing day!
Seeing the content and storyline of games these days, it’s normal for the parents to get concerned about what effects it would have on their ward!
There’s no debate that gaming has that knack that keeps younger minds attached to it at all times.
However, is gaming beneficial for their brain? Or is it making their brain worse?
Well, stepping into the guide and learning more about it is the only way to find out!
Let’s Start with the Negative Effects!
- Poor sleep hygiene
Lack of sleep is a common phenomenon for gamers. Many hours of gaming per day often result in sleep deprivation, especially if you play late at night or with gamer friends from different time zones. Saying “just one more game” is super easy, but gamers usually don’t notice that it results in “just an hour less sleep.” In much simpler words, excessive gaming can lead to poor sleep hygiene and other adverse physical health effects.
If you neglect sleep every day, it will eventually spread to other parts of your life. You will be unable to concentrate on other aspects of your life, such as school, job, or simply daily living, affecting your ability to function in those areas.
- Dehydration and poor diet
If you play Online games for a few hours, forget to eat, drink and stay healthy. Without proper nutrition and water, your body cannot function properly.
You will experience headaches due to dehydration, and a poor diet will lead to muscle wasting. In the long term, a poor diet can lead to even more profound health consequences, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and, in extreme cases, cancer.
If you forget to eat three times a day or drink at least 2-3 litres of water because of your gambling habit, adverse side effects will appear.
- Physical health atrophy, muscle atrophy, obesity, heart problems
The less you move and exercise, the worse your body becomes. Weight gain, muscle loss, painful joints, and bad posture are all examples.
Sitting regularly in the same position throughout the day can have other severe consequences for your physical health, such as chronic headaches and neck and back problems.
And while video games have a relatively low correlation with obesity, it’s also important to note that about 1% of gamers suffer from excessive gaming. Obesity can also cause heart problems and heart disease.
- Poor concentration
Games require focus and concentration; they need your full attention. However, the more you gamble or play, the harder it is to focus on other tasks like schoolwork or a career.
The symptoms of gaming disorder are called “pre-work,” which means you’re constantly thinking about the game when you’re not playing and have difficulty concentrating on other tasks.
Can video games have positive effects on children? Let’s explore!
Steady and healthy hands!
The American Psychological Foundation has released data showing that surgeons who use video game technology demonstrate faster skills with advanced procedures and make 37% fewer mistakes than their peers. These studies give weight to the idea that playing regularly can help improve one’s manual skill, which is great for both practical work and hobbies.
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Video games can improve strategic thinking.
Children who play video games on a daily basis have the chance to develop and enhance their strategic thinking. Think about it. In the game, you can try different methods and approaches with little or no risk. Doing this repeatedly can help develop and train your brain to react more quickly in real-time situations. This is the theory used in various VET situations. You don’t just jump on a fighter aircraft and fly away for your first lesson, do you? Complex abilities, such as driving and medical operations, are frequently taught via simulations and virtual reality.
They are great learning tools.
Learning languages using gamification techniques is becoming increasingly popular.
Suppose your child responds well to these learning mechanisms. In that case, there are great opportunities to use appropriate games to increase brain power for subjects such as history, chemistry, math, grammar, and more.
Teachers report that using video game technology in the classroom can help improve test scores and retain information in various situations.
Many games require complex peer interaction, teamwork, and collaboration. Balanced with a healthy combination of “real-life” socialization, they are another excellent way for children to develop social and professional skills.
Minecraft, one of the most popular world-building games in the world, has different modes to help kids develop their creative and problem-solving skills. In this type of play, many children can also help build some life skills, including teamwork and collaboration.
Hence, the pupils who have always been struggling to make friends at school or face trouble while interacting at family gatherings are reported to slowly come back to life while being more profound at making interactions!
- Play can be a form of stress relief.
The relationship between emotional health and video games has focused heavily on aggression and violence, but there is evidence to the contrary. Studies show that moderate play is beneficial in reducing stress and children’s emotional stability compared to those who never play and those who play excessively.
Gaming can be a medium for an escape for children; not every child is good at expressing their emotions – thus, stepping into the world of gaming provides them with a temporary escape, just like they desire!
- Not all games are designed to sit.
The development of smart devices is in the sky. With new gadgets coming around every back and forth, the gaming arena is no longer restricted to playing games while sitting at the computer screen!
Thanks to the evolution we witnessed in virtual reality, this technology has unlocked new gaming levels! Popular geocaching games, such as Pokemon Go, encourage outdoor activities since they merge two worlds and rely on environmental exploration to function.
Games developed via Virtual Reality come enriched with traits that physical games require so that children can play games while simultaneously undergoing physical exercises!
- Enhancing Imagination power!
When older kids stop pretending, it can often end in imaginative play. Video games allow teens to immerse themselves in another world and further stimulate the creative part of their brain through play.
Hard work pays off, but in gaming, the person with more imagination power is bound to succeed! Gaming not only enhances child’s imagination power but also aids them in thinking out of the box!
Being teens is the age where children learn and grow, and improving imagination power at this younger age can benefit them in the future!
Wrapping it up!
In our world, it’s hard to find people who aren’t in love with gaming! One out of every four children is a gaming fanatic – the number would surely go up, considering all the evolvement the gaming industry is going within.
Just like every other thing, gaming comprises some pros and cons – with having a direct relation with the brain!
Seeking experts’ advice, it’s evident that the list of pros is much longer than the cons. Gaming is one of the best ways to hunt down your boredom; hence playing games would benefit you.
But you still need to be careful, as extra consumption of gaming habits can be drastic! This guide above briefly classifies the topic, covering everything a gamer or concerned parent should know!