Everything in life has its ups and downs and video games are no different. A lot of research lately done on video games and their effects on children emphasize that these types of games do actually have a lot of benefits to children like the following;
- Improves quick thinking abilities and the ability to make split second decisions
- Can improve social skills
- Can relief stress and even depression
- And video games can be educational
These may be some pretty good benefits, but the benefits of playing video games do greatly weigh down to the cons of video games.
What Is So Bad About Video Games?
Playing a lot of video games do have some huge disadvantages and negative side effects to children like the following;
Obesity – Children can sit in one spot for hours…days and even weeks while they enjoy their favorite video games. This is a lot of missed opportunities to move around, work out and to be active. The obesity factor is a huge disadvantage to children and especially those with genetic disorders or medical problems.
Impaired development – Children’s bodies need to move to develop. Your child needs to jump, skip, climb, crawl, spin and run to develop strong muscles and bones and sitting in the same spot each and every day for hours on end will definitely affect a child’s physical development.
Poor social skills – Sure, you can communicate with friends while enjoying online games but chatting on a computer will never be the same as actual interaction. For one thing, children miss out on body language since they cannot see the other person talking to them and learning body language is essential in developing good social skills.
Poor eyesight – Yes, staring at the TV or computer screen will eventually affect your child’s eye sight and not in a good way.
Addictions – Children can get addicted to playing video games and the result is high-stress levels when they cannot get their daily fix of games. Many young adults with gaming addictions struggle to maintain jobs or even make a success of their studies, to begin with.
A mixed take on reality – How will a child know what is real and what is not when the only thing he or she knows is video games? How do you know that it is bad to kill someone else when it is so easy to do in games? How do you know what is acceptable in society? How do you know what physical activities are actually fun to enjoy? Too much video game too early on can seriously mess up a child’s take on reality.
Educational Toys Are a Healthy and Fun Alternative
Just because a child cannot enjoy video games doesn’t mean that he or she cannot have fun at all. Modern educational toys can be great fun and have some great benefits such as stimulated creativity, increased imagination and boosted fine motor skills without any of the disadvantages that video games have. It is much better to invest in educational toys that are actually fun and to keep video games as limited as possible or rather to emphasize this type of fun right from the start before you even consider investing in video game gear.