To Your Health
October, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 10)
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The Pros and Cons of Video Games

By Editorial Staff

It takes a concerted effort to keep kids away from video games these days, particularly when games are accessible on such a wide variety of readily available formats, including smartphones and tablets.

As a parent, should you be restricting your child in terms of the amount of time they spend playing video games? Recent research suggests that's not an easy answer.

The study investigated weekly video game use and the potential influence on cognitive abilities and behavior in 7-11-year-olds. Interestingly, results showed both pros and cons to video gaming: "Playing video games for 1 hour per week was associated with faster and more consistent psychomotor responses to visual stimulation," but "weekly time spent gaming was steadily associated with conduct problems, peer conflicts, and reduced prosocial abilities." It's important to note that conduct problems were only seen in children playing more than nine hours of video games per week.

So, video games – good or bad? It appears the answer could go either way, but clearly moderation is the key; a good rule of thumb to follow when teaching our children in general. And of course, the type of games being played also may impact how children are affected. Talk to your doctor for more information and click here for a larger discussion of the potential pros and cons of playing video games.