Are video games suitable for younger audiences?

Should children play video games? These studies have the answer

This is how videogames affect children

Video games have become a vital part of youth culture. But how are they affecting children? This is what science says.

Children love to play. But it’s no longer just football and tennis, more and more kids are spending their free time with video games. This understandably leads a lot of parents to wonder if this is healthy behaviour. But studies actually show that video games are actually beneficial.

Gamers are great problem solvers

A study in 2014 actually concluded that gamers are great problem solvers. Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford, conducted a study of over 5000 children between the age of 10 and 15 years and examined how video games impacted their “psychosocial development”, meaning the development of social skills in children.

It turned out that gamers are great problem solvers since a lot of games present challenges to children, developing their problem-solving skills early. This can easily translate into the later stages of their lives and thus help them to deal with new situations.

Moderation is key

The same study from the University of Oxford also found that playing for up to three hours sometimes as a positive impact on children. Other children did not experience any positive nor any negative impact at all, though. It is still important to keep an eye on how much time a child is spending in front of their gaming device.

Video games don’t promote aggressive behaviour

A recent study by the University of Oxford found that violent video games do not promote aggressive behaviour. The study featured 1004 British adolescents aged 14 to 15 and an equal number of their parents.

The teenagers had to work on a report about their video game consumption while their parents had to document their behaviour. The scientists stated that they actually expected to see a correlation between aggressive behaviour and violent video games but to their surprise: there was none. “There was no evidence for a critical tipping point relating violent video game engagement to aggressive behaviour” the study stated. In the end, age ratings exist for a reason, so it is important to make sure to check the games your child is playing and ensure they are suitable for the age group of the child who is playing them.

Summing up:

  • Video games have good effects on children
  • Monitor what your child is playing
  • Track how much your child is playing