The process of playing video games has always been linked to the hypothesis that recurrent displays of gore and violence have a negative influence on children and their cognitive and learning development. Nevertheless, the number of reviews that support an opposite idea grows on a daily basis, with the American Psychological Association being one of the frontrunners in the area. Quite contrarily, many violent video games (such as shooters, for example) are expected to boost a child’s learning capability and allow them to develop a decent level of social skills that would help them in the future (Goh et al. 2019). This difference in the existing evidence motivates the author of the current paper to investigate the essential benefits of online gaming and align them against the younger populations. In order to complete the task, the author conducted a review of several relevant sources and generated a thorough report that touches upon the biggest advantages characteristic of video games.
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The existence of an abundant amount of literature on the negative effects of gaming has led to the creation of a stereotype that video games represent a solely adverse phenomenon that should be evaded by any means. The fact that people playing video games are often presented in the media as uncultured and unscrupulous stems from the long-standing impression that gamers do not engage in social activities and stay behind their computer screen 24/7. Despite the existing evidence regarding the advent of video game-related dependence, many researscreensstill tend to believe that addictive behaviors, aggression, and depression are not caused by video games alone. This paper aims to prove that positive aspects of online gaming exist and actually have a constructive influence on children that engage in healthy gaming behaviors and do not exploit their free time in favor of entertainment.
Key Sources of Positive Influence of Online Games on Children
There is an old stereotype stating that children that play video games grow into lazy people who lack intellectual capability and do not have the cognitive skills required to integrate into society. In accord with the existing evidence, this claim has no factual basis, as a person playing video games has a chance to improve their memory and perception while also investing in decision-making and spatial navigation capabilities (Maurer et al. 2018). The amount of violence in modern video games, on the other hand, is mediated by the fact that gamers develop three-dimensional, object-oriented thinking and enhance their communication skills when playing on a team with other people. These findings have critical implications for the future of children playing video games because achievements in technology, mathematics, and other crucial scientific areas rely on spatial thinking and abstract decision-making (Bae et al. 2016). More importantly, family-friendly puzzles do not have the same effect on children.
Another crucial point that cannot be ignored when discussing gaming behaviors in children is that decision-making is also improved with the help of different genres of video games. Role-playing games (RPGs) or strategic video games have long-term implications for children’s academic performance and generate additional opportunities for the development of creativity (Maurer et al. 2018). The advance of additional gaming platforms has made the process even easier, as nowadays, children can play video games on tablets and smartphones instead of laptops and personal computers. The presence of “simpler” games (such as Angry Birds, for instance) promotes relaxation and helps children fight their anxiety and mood swings (Goh et al. 2019). The fundamental concept that has to be addressed when discussing the fact that children play video games is that it makes them happier and stabilizes their emotional background. Children who play video games are less prone to failure and do not lose their resilience when losing several times in a row, which translates to real-life failures as well.
The biggest stereotype to date that has to be overcome with the help of additional research and population empowerment is that gamers are informally isolated and do not socialize with other people in any way. The existence of millions of people worldwide that play different video games and build multinational and multicultural communities should serve as evidence of the fact that virtual worlds are not obstacles to normal social functioning and peer-to-peer communication (Goh et al. 2019). Multiplayer games are led by quick decision-making, and it is also relevant for real-life interactions too. It was proven that video games (even if they are violent) encourage cooperation and mildly force players to communicate with each other to achieve the ultimate objective and win (Maurer et al. 2018). It should be emphasized that many classrooms nowadays are redesigned to appeal to a bigger number of younger students and develop a renewed approach to the learning process.
When working with children, physicians have the ability to implement video games as well. Digital entertainment resonates with children much more than orthodox treatment methods, so it may be crucial to focus on possible research in the area and communicate with children to align video games against their needs and wishes (Goh et al. 2019). When a person plays video games, their brain functions in a different way, which is the guiding principle for introducing this type of digital entertainment to a variety of spheres of human life. The transformation that children might experience in the process is what moves video game developers and increases the potential of technologies by a notch (Maurer et al. 2018). A limited amount of violence in video games could protect children’s mental health and make it easier for parents to mediate the periods spent online. The essential recommendation for the future, as per Bae et al. (2016), is to invest in research in the area and pay more attention to the value of video games, as it goes way beyond mere entertainment.
Based on the information presented within the framework of the current paper, it may be concluded that online games should be perceived as something more valuable than just a mere form of entertainment. Nevertheless, to achieve the best outcomes for children, counselors and psychologists have to rely on parents’ support, as the latter is responsible for the child’s ability to develop relationships with the environment. The advent and development of strategic thinking also depend on how children and their parents approach video games because there are gaming franchises that do not contribute to the mental capabilities of gamers in any way. The biggest advantage currently known to researchers is that video games help children become perseverant and pursue their objectives irrespective of the obstacles that affect them. Another important idea is that children become more resilient under the influence of online video games and start engaging in communication with their digital acquaintances much more often. Without parental guidance, the majority of online gaming benefits will disappear, so it raises the question of how one could moderate their child’s playing experiences without damaging their relationship.
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Bae, Joonheui; Koo, Dong-Mo & Mattila, Pekka. 2016. “Affective Motives to Play Online Games”. Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 26 (2): 174-184.
Goh, C.; Jones, C. & Copello, A. 2019. “A Further Test of the Impact of Online Gaming on Psychological Wellbeing and the Role of Play Motivations and Problematic Use”. Psychiatric Quarterly 90 (4): 747-760.
Maurer, Bernhard; Lankes, Michael & Tscheligi, Manfred. 2018. “Where the Eyes Meet: Lessons Learned from Shared Gaze-Based Interactions in Cooperative and Competitive Online Games”. Entertainment Computing 27: 47-59.