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Why Video Games are Good for Kids

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Parents playing video games with their children on the sofa

Parents playing video games with their children on the sofa

Parents playing video games with their children on the sofa

Kara Halligan, Contributor

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Believe it or not, video games can provide benefits to kids and aren’t bad. Now a days, everyone thinks video games are bad and ruin kids’ brains and make them super aggressive. Though this is true to some level, it’s not true for all video games, all kids, or all situations. If a child spends hours upon hours a day playing video games and not taking their eyes off the screen, that is unhealthy, but in some cases video games can improve a child’s health. Video games can actually improve a child’s reaction time, provide challenges and puzzles, allow kids to socialize, increase brain flexibility, increase attention span, and much more. In many video games, there will be scenarios in which you need to press a sequence of buttons quickly to get a desired outcome. If a child who has a slow reaction time or can’t move their fingers fast enough to input the combination of buttons, continues playing games that involves quick movements, then they will continue to increase speed the more they practice and eventually have a better reaction time and better coordination. Many games also include puzzle solving or present challenges. This would cause the child to actually use their brain and think, and improve brain flexibility, therefore allowing them to complete cognitive flexibility task at a much faster pace. Italian researchers also provide data showing that playing fast paced games can improve a child’s reading speed as well. This is because fast paced games can improve a child’s attention span, which can therefore improve reading speed. Many games are also online multiplayer types, allowing kids to play together even when they aren’t in the same room. This allows kids to socialize with one another through the game, or be the cause of them socializing, which is always important for the development of children. Another study shows that shooting games can improve eyesight, too. Having to aim and locate the enemies that appear at random forces the players’ eyes to analyze what they are shown in a timely manner. These types of games help peoples’ contrast sensitivity. An example of this is noticing slight differences in lighting or brightness. This is a very important function as well and is needed when doing task in the dark such as driving at night. This are some of the many benefits video games have for children.

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