The debate about the positive and negative effects of video games has been waged since video games have come on the scene. Each side of this debate tries to prove its case in what has become a battle for children's minds. For every positive trait video games may have, there is an equally bad negative trait. Video games can be linked to several extremely troubling social problems facing the U.S. today.
Video game usage has been linked to the problem of obesity in children. The longer children are sitting playing video games, the less likely they will go outside for exercise. Also, video games are not unlike television in that eating and drinking bad food almost go hand in hand with them. In order to make sure that this doesn't happen, monitor the length of time your children play video games and the food that they eat while doing it. Make them go outside if they are playing for too long.
Children who play violent video games tend to blur the line about what is fantasy and what is acceptable in reality when it comes to violence. There have been several acts of deadly violence, such as the Columbine massacre, in which the perpetrator had played many hours of violent video games. Some children are not able to understand the difference between what is on the screen and what is reality.
As children play video games for a longer period of time, they begin to lose socialisation skills. They get so caught up in the video-game world that they no longer desire one-on-one human company. True, many video games allow the player to interact with other players via the Internet, but these other players become part of the game itself and there is no real contact between two bodies. Parents should look out for their children becoming increasingly withdrawn into the video-game world.
Drop in School Performance
Playing video games for long hours may cause children to neglect their studies. There is a correlation between time spent playing video games and the decline in academic performance. The video games act as an addictive substance that causes the user to neglect other areas of the his life. Parents need to monitor their child's grades and look for a connection with excessive video-game playing.
Children who play lots of video games may experience several other issues. One of them is increased somatic complaints, such as gastrointestinal issues, heartburn, nausea and headaches. These children can begin to exhibit attention problems such as hyperactivity or ADHD. Finally, as a child puts himself more and more into a video-game world, there can be a decline in verbal memory performance. This usually goes hand in hand with a loss of socialisation.