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Top 10 positive effects of video games on children

Can video games be positive for kids?

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Given the dynamic feedback on the top 10 negative effects of video games post, I had to write about the flip side.  Keep in mind that university studies are just starting to examine the relationships between humans and machines as we interact with them more and more. And that this fascinating look into how our brains and bodies meet is just in its infancy.

  1. The ability to learn teamwork
  2. Skill in managing groups
  3. Higher levels of problem solving
  4. Increased visual acuity (sharpness)
  5. Improved visual cognition
  6. Accelerated acquisition of motor skills
  7. Reduced reaction times and increased speed of activities
  8. Enhanced mental rotation skills
  9. Better visual and spatial memory,
  10. Increased ability to maintain divided attention

SOURCES:
Communication Monographs June 2005; 72(2): 217-233.
Percept Mot Skills August 2004;99(1):51-62.
Psychological Science February 2007; 18(1): 88-94.
JEP:HPP 2006; 32(6): 1465-1478.

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15 Responses to “Top 10 positive effects of video games on children
blair
7:07 am August 10th, 2010

reduced reaction times?

1:38 pm August 10th, 2010

Meaning that people who are trained and practice hand-eye coordination react more quickly…

brier
6:36 am September 21st, 2010

thats cool (:

justin
6:57 am November 22nd, 2010

Thats stupid
all that stuff is not true

isaac
7:43 pm November 23rd, 2010

i find all of these effects very true. I have played video games for years and i can validate that playing them does increase reaction time and visual cognition. Its not obvious but I do notice that i have very quick reflexes and can spot things much quicker than other people. Especially playing pictureka. Im a champ at that game. Im not saying that there arn’t negative effects but im saying that video games have been given a bad rep. from the media.

Jay
12:13 am December 4th, 2010

No one can really say, logically, that all that stuff is true. They’d have to say all of the negative effects aren’t true either. There would be almost no choice but to say the only effects can’t be determined as good or bad. I used video games when i was a little younger to train my reaction times and hand-eye coordination. Most of my classmates had much better reaction times in gym class than i did. I play World of Warcraft (ftw) and find that it can improve social skills as long as you don’t spend the entire time you play yelling at other players for dumb reasons, i witness that almost daily. Some people just shouldn’t be given access to video games…lol

scottgallagherpoc
6:50 pm December 21st, 2010

something to think about – thanks for the perspective

duane jackson
4:30 am March 2nd, 2011

This list is not to be taken seriously. The number one aid in brain development is movement, get off the couch and get out the door. Research says that the number one threat to the overall health of our children are screens, be it television, computer, or video games. Screens increase the production of dopamine in the brain which if you have to much can result in uncontrollable impulses like picking, tapping, twitching, jerking, and repetitive movements. Also too much dopamine can result in increased pulse and blood pressure for all you folks out there pounding back the energy drinks to pull the gaming all-nighter. Dopamine controls the flow of information for memory, attention and problem solving skills, so, too much would result in an inability to focus comparative to the amphetamine-induced psychosis common in meth abusers. I’d say that lists such as these and findings of this sort are generally compiled by people that have really no choice but to sit and play. My advice to those people, and I really am saying this out of concern for the general well being of children and young people, is to start telling a different story for your life, get out, get some fresh air, get your whole body moving, and get social. Fourteen texts are not a conversation.

iTz Jp
12:36 am March 15th, 2011

“This list is not to be taken seriously. The number one aid in brain development is movement, get off the couch and get out the door. Research says that the number one threat to the overall health of our children are screens, be it television, computer, or video games. Screens increase the production of dopamine in the brain which if you have to much can result in uncontrollable impulses like picking, tapping, twitching, jerking, and repetitive movements”

Where’s your source idiot? Oh that’s right, you don’t have one. I’m 72nd best halo player in the world and am still athletic.

TJ
6:46 am March 30th, 2011

“This list is not to be taken seriously. The number one aid in brain development is movement, get off the couch and get out the door. Research says that the number one threat to the overall health of our children are screens, be it television, computer, or video games.”

“Also too much dopamine can result in increased pulse and blood pressure for all you folks out there pounding back the energy drinks to pull the gaming all-nighter.”

“My advice to those people, and I really am saying this out of concern for the general well being of children and young people, is to start telling a different story for your life, get out, get some fresh air, get your whole body moving, and get social.”

It looks like you can’t be taken seriously either. Get some sources and stop making assumptions about all gamers. Most of us have lives.

Adam
5:37 am May 4th, 2011

Clearly video-games do not help your English skills.

what will happen
7:34 pm June 29th, 2011

hey iTz Jp
i can also say I’m athletic……….u might not be a 10/10 athlete, but can be a 4/10 athlete….. or maybe u just play some outdoor games for fun………….. that doesn’t mean u r athletic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rawr
10:54 pm October 11th, 2011

say what?

Jasra
2:58 am January 20th, 2012

I’m relatively certain Duane Jackson’s words are aimed at those who do happen to game excessively: the people who play late into the night, riding on coke or energy drinks, and the kids who refuse to budge from WoW for 8 hours straight every day during the holidays.

He specifically refers to them, if you read carefully.

BTW, scientific studies clearly state a positive correlation between exercise and intelligence. In addition, all that information about dopamine affecting memory, attention, and problem solving is verifiably true. Us gamers would know it anyway – that feeling of not being able to focus properly on your work after playing an especially epic game. But if you guys really feel compelled to prove us wrong, then by all means, go for it.

Duane has his mistakes, though. The list has a few grains of truth in it, and you don’t need a university study to prove the relationship. A blind person is essentially dependent on hearing and touch, and thus those senses are far sharper than that of a person who possesses sight. Well, in a rather stretched analogy, the kid who twiddles his thumbs all day with 110% of his attention focused on the screen tends to improve his visual acuity. He relies on it constantly and tunes out everything else (such as hearing – admit it, it’s typically not that important).

I have to argue against some points on this list, though. For instance, improved motor skills. Thumb twiddling and fast typing do not teach you how to run or jump better or keep your balance. The ‘improved problem solving’ usually only applies to educational, puzzle, and strategy games; repetitive grinding in MMORPGs does not contribute to that particular aspect in the least. Teamwork really depends on the quality of the game’s community, the player’s own personality, and a wide range of other factors.

Last but not least…iTz Jp and TJ need to learn how to debunk someone in argument. Bashing someone’s ethos when they have their facts straight is simply proclaiming to the world that you don’t have an intelligent counterargument. And name-calling is, quite literally, classified as one of the least effective methods in existence. It kills your own reputation, not theirs. If not learning the fundamentals of debate, then at least learn some maturity and respect. Gotta put this out there: I’m terribly tired of seeing people such as you online. In particular, iTz Jp, your response is thoughtless, acerbic, hateful. Duane may be somewhat biased in a couple of his sentences, but at least he is well-intentioned. And both of you should know he’s not talking about you.

dalekrule
6:46 am January 26th, 2012

very helpful.not as good as the negative list but still very true and interesting

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