As a millennial, imagine finding your kid playing video games for the first time. You may get worried and frustrated. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Video games might look bad on paper, but they surprisingly make today’s kids brighter in ways you would not fathom.
There is good news from researchers, and scientists-video games may be helpful to kids’ brains.
Scientists Discover Video Games are Beneficial to Children’s Brain Development
A recent study released by the Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, found positive benefits from games on children’s brains. The professors in the department and their team established that three or more hours per day were beneficial to children’s brain development.
The study adds to the ever-growing understanding of the connection between playing video games and cognitive capabilities. Further, the study was backed by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health.
How Does Video Gaming Affect Children’s Brains?
The research involved professionals collecting data from 2,000 children, 9 and 10-year-olds. Then, they divided the children into two groups; those who play video games more than three hours a day and those who don’t play.
From the analyzed survey, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and cognitive brain scan data, the following results were released:
- Children who played three to more hours daily were faster and more accurate in undertaking different tasks. They stood out in memorizing information and controlling impulses. For instance, video gamers successfully asked for directions and memorized them until they reached their final destination.
- They showed higher activity and understanding in areas associated with memory and attention.
- These children were more involved in activities in frontal brain areas associated with cognitively demanding tasks.
- The children depicted increased visual and neural processing.
- They were able to exhibit and execute quick thinking and response.
The study showed that kids who had more time for video gaming did better than non-gamers. The experts further noted that the video game genre a kid chooses might affect brain development differently.
Nonetheless, your duty as a parent is to monitor what type of games your children play. Some games are not ideal for children as they have high age ratings. Others can cause anxiety. It is also advisable to incorporate bedtime stories for kids after a few hours of video gaming.
Shifting the Narrative about Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games
The study clarified common issues around how much gaming is too much. Researchers said that most people are inclined to think about the negative effects of video gaming. It may elicit discussions, but the study suggests the positive benefits associated with this popular activity.
For example, they discovered that spending a few hours on a video gaming console would help kids diagnosed with ADHD. Video gaming is an exercise that could help these children sustain attention and fight anxiety.
The Vermont study pointed out that cognitive capabilities are only one of the positive benefits of video games. As it turns out, there is a handful of positive benefits that include:
- Problem-solving skills
- Emotional benefits as they make gamers happier
- Improved social behavior
- Higher mental health
- Improved coordination
Self-Control is Integral in Playing Video Games
The study urged parents to limit their children’s screen time. It made it clear that children shouldn’t do without other activities like homework, socializing, sleep, or a combination of other fun-filled activities.
Parents should be comfortable introducing their children to different video game genres. Whether your kid likes puzzles or sandbox games, there are positive benefits you cannot overlook.