Monday, February 7, 2011

Positive Aspects of Video Games

Recently, an article was published which found that girls who spent time playing video games with their fathers had better relationships with them. You can read it here.

Most news about video games seem to just state the negative aspects. I'd like you to consider both the negative and positive aspects. So i'd like at least a paragraph on each. 1) What are the negative future consequences of video game play? and 2) What are the positive future consequences of video game play?


JG Hanks said...

As a father and a gamer, I can appreciate the positive and negative aspects of video games for both my son and my daughter.

The most obvious, and consequently most attacked, are the negative aspects. The biggest complaint I have heard about video games is the violence. Many studies will show that kids who play violent video games have a higher tendency to show aggressive behavior as they get older. Video games are attributed to lack of sleep, increase in emotional and behavioral disorders, decline in verbal memory, ADD/ADHD/hyperactivity, detrimental school performance, reduced amounts of REM sleep, and modifications in visual selective attention. It is often perceived that children who play video games are rude, anti-social and not capable of interacting with their peers in a normal fashion.

Another problem with games is the gender bias represented in almost all genres of games. Most games present a male dominated world with very few positive role models for girls. This could lead to a skewed view of sexuality and provide an unfortunate outlook for girls playing these games. As with anything, limiting the amount of time children play games has a huge impact on the effects games have on them. I believe there is the potential for all of the negative aspects of games to effect kids if they aren't given a time frame for playing games and if parents don't follow the ratings that the ESRB give each game. Lack of parental supervision is more likely to cause the aforementioned problems and not the games themselves.

On the flip side, video games have the potential to be a tremendous learning tool for kids struggling or unable to learn things in a more conventional way. Video games sometimes require abstract thinking skills to complete or a knowledge of a subject beyond what you would assume needing for a game. Hand eye coordination is obviously improved with games but a child's emotional development can be affected as well. Online gaming gives children an opportunity to be a part of a community that they might not otherwise have a chance to and provides them with a chance to meet people from all over the world.

Games can provide children a release from their everyday stresses in a safe and controlled environment. Nottingham Trent University professor Mark Griffiths says that video games can prove to be a distraction for those undergoing painful cancer treatments. In a study conducted in 2004 by Butch Rosser, a surgeon of Laparoscopy, he studied the surgical skills of surgeons playing video games and surgeons who did not. Video games also give kids a chance to learn. For example, my son became interested in mythology after playing God of War and my two year old daughter enjoys watching football (or shotball as she calls it) after watching me play NCAA Football on the XBox 360.

Any opportunity to teach kids about something is an opportunity I welcome as a parent. If it takes a video game to spark that interest, I am all for it.

Elle B. said...
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Elle B. said...

I feel like the negative effects of video game play is that kids no longer play outside like they used to. Back in my day(about seven years ago), we did both. Allowing kids to be away from video games helps them learn to be creative. They need to learn how to use sticks, pinecones, ditches, and their neighbors yards as a way to entertain themselves. Plus, there are those children who for some reason respond to the violence they see on the games. My favorite game was Grand Theft Auto III, but I didn't go around running over cops and stealing their guns so that the army would be after me. When a child responds to games negatively in that context, there is something wrong with the child, not the game.

On the other hand, it would have been awesome if my parents played video games with me. I think that it is a great bonding experience. It shows the child that you are somewhat interested in their lives, you care about the same things they care about, and you're having fun while you're doing it. As long as the game is interesting to both the parent and the child, I think it's an awesome thing to do.

JG Hanks said...

A portion of my fifth paragraph should have read as follows:

In a study conducted in 2004 by Butch Rosser, a surgeon of laparoscopy, the surgical skills of surgeons playing video games and surgeons who did not was studied. The research found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.

sswog said...

Humans evolve to their environments. Video games, networking and television have become the main focus of any family interaction. It is not normal to eat at the table anymore! So, boys like video games. Little girls love their daddies! They will always be daddy’s little girls! I think it is awesome that we can see another way in which children will do anything to interact with their fathers.

The positive side of this story is that there is interaction between fathers and daughters. Have you ever tried to talk to a guy that is playing a video game? It is impossible! But if you are sitting there playing with them, then they can talk to you more. And when they get bored, you are there to go and do something else.

The negative side would be there relationship is based on a game. If the only time they spend together is while they are playing games, then how is the father going to reach his daughter outside of the game? What is he going to do when she is grown up and doesn’t want to play anymore? When do they learn to look each other in the eyes and have a straight conversation?

There can be a lot of negative consequences, but I think it is cool to see how the society has changed in just our lifetime! Depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on will depend on whether this is a positive or negative situation.

dgarrard said...

Playing video games can have many effects on adolescents. The most important factor to consider is the amount of time that is spent playing the games. If a child spends their entire afternoon everyday inside playing video games then of course this will have a negative impact. Another impact would would be the constant appearance of violence in most higher rated games. Any young person can go into a store and buy an M rated game that has lots of profanity, sexual circumstances and innuendo, and violence, and subsequently can become immersed in this alternate world and come to believe that this is the way of the world we live in. It can also desensitize an adolescent to violence and profanity. Children will no longer be afraid to be bolder in their actions; perhaps doing things that they normally wouldn't.

I have to believe that, at least in my house, the positive outweighs the negative impact. I have a four year-old daughter and we thoroughly enjoy playing MarioKart and Super Mario Brothers on our Wii system. It allows us to spend time together playing while also enjoying the visual and mental stimulation from the game. As with anything else in life there has to be moderation. Anything in excess can be harmful. Not all video games consist of mailicious content. Some have can have an educational value and therefore may be advantageous to a child's development. The responsibility rests with the parent to censor what their child views.

Brandon L. Atkison said...

Video games have revolutionized the techniques of parenting over the past decades. Video games have both negative and positive consequences for children. Some of the negative consequences include: 1) An increase of emotional order symptoms such as fatigue, poor appetite, and sleep disorders. 2) An increase of behavioral disorder symptoms such as obsessive-compulsive behavior, anxiety, and social problems. 3) Attention problems such as hyperactivity, ADD or ADHD. 4) Significant risk for physically aggressive behavior.
Some of the positive consequences include: 1) The development of essential skills such as multitasking and on the spot thinking. 2) Some games require children to develop and use hand-eye coordination, spatial sense, and math skills. 3) Helps children develop memory skills and logistics. 4) Encourages children to persevere toward achieving a goal.
If a child is introduced to positive video games at a young age I believe it could have a positive effect on their development throughout childhood.

SarahLear said...

I think it all depends on the nature of the game. Honestly, when I think of video games, what immediately comes to mind are games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty -- games of violent nature. I am a firm believer that such games only have a negative affect on the gamer. What can be good about games like that? What is beneficial to the gamer? What do they learn? I've always heard that exposure to violence like that, whether it be in video games or on the television, makes people more prone to exhibit those types of behavior in real life. Obviously that's not true for everyone, but I believe it significantly increases the possibility. How could it not? It makes violence more common place than it should be; people who are exposed to it regularly don't think of violence as such a big deal. Other than it increasing the opportunity for violent and aggressive behavior in real life, I see it just simply as a huge waste of time (and I am mainly referring to these kind of fighting games -- there are some that are productive). I know a guy that literally plays Call of Duty all day that he isn't in school. He barely sees other people. Just plays the game, then goes to school, comes home, more game. It's sad. However, SOME video playing time is probably ok, depending on the game, as far as unwinding and relieving stress.
Positively, video games that are geared toward learning and thinking skills can be extremely beneficial to children's development. There are many video and computer games that provide a lot of use of coordination and abstract thinking. When I was younger I had a lot of computer games that were skill building based, and they were fun while also teaching me something.
Like this article says, gaming can also be a bonding tool for relationships. Again, I think it all depends on the particular game being played. But it can provide a shared interest between parents and children, particularly fathers and daughters then mothers and sons, who might not have much other to bond over given the gender differences.

DSEELEY said...

I guess I will date myself here, I grew up when Atari, and Packman, where the greatest thing since slice bread. As technology has advanced over the years, I think society as a whole has changed to. There are two sets of parents out there; the ones that play video games with their children for family fun and education, and those that just let their children spend hours upon hours in front of the gaming console. With the advancement of graphic technology games have become more lifelike. Living thru the years of television and the increase of violent programs and the many studies that show that violent television shows have affected our you population, we are just now starting to see the affects that violent video games are having on the young people. I feel that the video games will have a bigger impact then television. Television was a one way showing with little or no individual input. Video games are more interactive, which allows a child to increase his/her aggression towards the characters in which he/she are playing with or against, and this will continue to be played out in society as the individual matures. As pointed out on some of the readings in Alexander, we are just reaching the point in the life span of video games to work on longevity studies on the affects of them on the children.
The good side of video games is that they can now provide a great educational tool that has been missing in the home and classroom. I grew up hearing that to get something right you had to practice it. That meant paper and pencil, today children can practice with educational programs on their gaming consoles and get an immediate response if they are doing something wrong and not having to wait till someone looked at their paper to tell them. In response to the study of fathers and daughters and video games, I know it didn't happend in my house. My daughters were the least interested in video games then the boys.

Sasha said...
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Sasha said...

Playing video games can go either way when it comes to influincing behavior. Video games can have a negative and positive effect on an individual's future.
I am a mother of two boys, 11 and 6 and there are some games i want let them play because of the type of game. For example, midnight club and planium night. Those game are violent and have dirty language in them that can tend to rub off on children. It teaches them about gun behavior and so on. I think a 6yr, it would influence the most because he don't really know what life is about yet; he dont quite understand. Also if children are playing withh video games and doing nothing else, that could have an effect on their everyday life.
Now the positive aspect of playing video games especially when played together with people you love, is that it bond relationships together. It give people time to spend together. I would rather have my children at home playing video game than to be in the street doing something negative. Also, some video game are educational and can help with learning. My 11yr old loves to play football and basketball games. he is an athlete himself and i let him play those types of games to help educate him more with his sports. he was mvp on his pee wee team. he was running back and scored at least 17 td this past season.
So while video game can leave a negative effect of a person future, it can effect it in a positive way. I think the key thing is to communicate with children and do what you suppose to do as a parent in raising them up in the right way, then their is nothing to worry about when playing video games.

Shelly said...

As with almost everything in life, using video games for entertainment purposes can have both negative and positive affects on children, adolescents, and adults. The negative aspects of the gaming systems are the most widely talked about. Children who play video games are more likely to suffer with childhood and adolescent obesity than children who spend less time on video game entertainment. Studies also show that children who spend more than an hour a day on video games have more issues with attention deficit disorders and more problems with acceptable social behavior among their peers. Violence is also another issue with almost any entertainment avenue.
The positive aspects of video gaming systems include increased hand and eye coordination. Some games also offer children and adolescents educational opportunities and higher thinking processes. Although children do not see these games as educational opportunities, learning can still take place.
The key to using video gaming systems for positive experiences, is for the parents to become active in the child/adolescent's life. As with any entertainment avenue that we as parents allow are children to partake in, parents are ultimately responsible for the types of games, videos, etc. that we allow our children to watch and participate in. Parents need to monitor the time that is spent watching, tv, movies, playing video games, etc. If the gaming systems are monitored properly, they can be a very positive element to use in a child's life, but if not, it can be devastating to the child's educational and social development.

eld_school said...

There has been so much negative research on the effects of the violence and language in video games. There have even been murders which have been blamed or connected to the actions of video games. There are now ratings of the games according to the amount of violence but this does not stop younger children from playing them. There has also been research into the effect of playing video games for long periods of time on children with emotional problems. The intenseness of the games has been reported to cause problems for some children. There have been reports of teenagers who play games so much that they began to believe that the games are real life. These players try to live out the game in their everyday life. The negative aspects seem to overshadow the positive points of video games.
Just as video games have negative aspect so do they have positive. I was glad to read that playing video games with a daughter can help build the relationship between a father and daughter. Children want the attention of their parents and they enjoy having their parents play games with them. I have a young daughter and two sons and we enjoy spending time together. My daughter got several video games for Christmas. The games help her learn the concepts she needs to be successful in school. I have enjoyed helping her learn how to play the games. It makes me feel good to learn that not only were we having fun but we were also building a foundation for a good relationship in the future. There are so many good games which do teach positive concepts but too often people only think or hear about the negative games.

JLafond said...

I think that the negative outweighs the positive when it comes to video games. First, children nowadays seem to spend too much time inside playing games, which means they aren’t spending time doing anything else. The lack of exercise for children causes health problems, especially in today’s society. Also, video games may cause vision problems as well because they spend too much time in front of the television screen. Video games have also been known to make kids, violent as they get older, but it depends on the games they play. I think that playing those violent games are unnecessary and they do more harm than good.

One of the positive aspects of video games is that there are educational games that can help kids learn. Also, there are games on the wii which require physical activity which is better for kids since they aren’t just sitting in front of the TV. Of course there are many family friendly games and not all video games are bad. But I think it is important for kids to limit their time in front of video games because the good outweighs the bad.

BGibson said...

There are negative and positive aspects that go along with video games. However, this an interesting topic because I never knew of girls playing games with their fathers. This just shows the trends of society are constantly changing.

The negative aspects of the video games outweigh the positive, depending on the type of game. Witnessing young boys play games, I have noticed that they like the violent games more than the adventurous. However, when I was growing up I liked the adventurous games, such as Mario, Super Mario, and Mario Kart as well. I have learned that it is important for children to be as involved in physical play outside, rather than being stuck sitting playing video games. Girls who are more focused on video games may be less focused on their school work. Most children tend to like the violent video games and parents do not monitor them, because they want to be able to enjoy what the kids enjoy to be a cool parent. In different studies, it has been known for children to act out what they see on video games, which is another negative aspect.

There are postive apsects as well as negative. Some little girls as well as boys do not have their fathers in their lives, so the father-daughter time is a very positive aspect to me. There are also educational games for children, which may be the preference of some fathers. Some parents use the games systems as a reward system which is another positive aspect, because the child is entitled to be on their best behavior. The father-daughter time may also be a great bonding mechanism, which allows the girl to be able to express issues with her father as well as the mother. The WII game is great for physical activity on cold or rainy days.

The positive could outweigh the negative in my opinion, depending on the parent. The parent has the right to monitor what their child comes in contact with.

CLiddell said...

I believe the negative future consequence of video games are just children spending too much time with playing them. Back when I was a little girl, we spent a lot of time outside and going places. Therefore, I believe the negative side to playing games are children are becoming too deicated to playing and neglecting everything else.

However, I like video games for my little girl. Most of them are educational. Therefore,she is learning and having fun doing it. Also,as newer educational games are developed so with the knowledge of little children who play them constantly.

CAndrews said...

The negative future consequences of video game playing is not doing anything with your life. Just sitting in front of a television playing games all day. I would actually find myself becoming lazy. It’s okay to play it for maybe a couple of hours maybe twice a week on weekends, but not every day. I don’t need to pay a video game to bond or have a better relationship with my Dad. I know that’s true because I am a Daddy’s girl and we get along great and didn’t have to buy a Playstation 3 or X-box to do that. It’s totally fine to have family night and play games and just have fun and keep the family connected, it’s important. I do find it kind of weird that a girl has to play a video game with her Dad in order to bond or have a good relationship with him. You would think a girl a round that age would be more involved in boys, makeup, the mall and talking on the phone with friends, not video games.
The positive consequences maybe that some girls cant bond with their fathers in any other way, so video gaming, laughing and having a good time is the only way to develop a relationship. She may grow up to become a famous great gamer and maybe design her own games. It’s just not the same anymore ever since video game consoles became popular and the different unique things you can do with them. She may be able to develop a career in video gaming or introduce something new. Also, most important, develop that special relationship with her Dad. Every girl should have a special relationship with their Dad.

aben said...

I feel that there are both negative ad positive effects that come from playing video games. i think how much it influences the child depends on the parent though. Negative aspects include the violence, kids not getting exercise due to the fact they are spending a majority of their time sitting, and they don't work on their social skills since they tend to stay locked in their rooms instead of playing with friends. All the can change by parents stepping in and have their child do something more active.

Positive aspects include some of the games being educational and playing games can give a family an opportunity to bond while playing. My daughter and husband play games together, and they enjoy it a good bit. Playing games gives them time to have fun and bond.

Ahmad Fauzi said...

s online game good for children? There is much negative effect of online games for children. That is a simple question but the answer is complicated. A neurologist Baroness Susan Greenfield said that spending time online gaming could affect brain’s health for children. breaking activities

Amber Salm said...

A bunch of articles which I read so far highlighted all the negative effects of video games which scared me a lot. This is the reason I am not willing to buy it for my kids. But the positive points mentioned above are also convincing. I will reconsider buying video game.
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