Video Games: Smashing the Bad Rap and Showing the Benefits
Several studies have been done on how television and different kinds of video games affect children. For a while, people freaked out about the negative effects and how it is a terrible thing that is making kids lazy and monsters. Today, there are many studies that show that this is not the whole truth. As with all things, playing video games, PC games, online games, etc., has benefits. It has cognitive benefits for children that can make them function and learn better. Here are some of these cognitive benefits:
Treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye) – Amblyopia is a condition that can develop in childhood where one eye becomes ‘lazy’ and potentially non-functional. Experiments were conducted where kids and adults with this condition were asked to play video games. They all showed excellent improvement in the impaired eye and for many function was improved immensely or completely restored.
Treatment of dyslexia – Dyslexia can be very frustrating for kids. It has been shown that kids who played video games regularly, showed improvement in test scores and reading ability. Some say that video games may be a better treatment approach than existing dyslexia-aimed programs.
Better spatial awareness and attention – Video games has been found to improve the ability to locate objects quickly even with distractions. This is often part of the objective of a game and it helps to improve spatial attention. Good spatial attention leads to good drivers.
Improved multi-tasking – Video games often require players to focus on different things all at once and doing different tasks all at once. This ability is carried over into real life and is a very handy skill to have.
Improves or slows mental decline – With old age comes a slower mind. However, older people who play video games have shown results of mental improvement and the reversal of decline. The elderly who played these games were much more alert, had better memories, and sharp cognitive functions.
From these benefits, it should be clear that there are two sides to the effects of video games. In moderation, these games can help your kids develop better mental capabilities.