Computer and video games have become more popular than ever. A 2005 study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that more than 80 per cent of teenagers had a video game player in their home. The widespread use of video games has led to a series of questions. The most common questions surround the effects video and computer games have on the growth and development of a child. Researchers have found that each situation should be handled independently because the effects vary from individual to individual.
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Many people focus on the negative effects of these games and fail to see the opportunity for learning and growth. According to RaiseSmartKid.com's "The Good and Bad Effects of Video Games," there are several positive effects that come from spending time playing video games. Most games do not teach kids math, history and other subjects. But they do provide students indirect opportunities to learn principles that can help them in their academic pursuits. Certain types of video games can help train kids to follow instructions as well as helping them develop their problem solving and logical thought processes. These skills translate directly to the classroom as students are asked to complete tasks and are presented problems that require them to use logical problem-solving skills.
Children can also learn inductive reasoning and hypothesis testing. Games will often present them with situations that need to be solved, necessitating the development of problem-solving techniques.
Another benefit of playing video games is that it begins to help the child become familiar with technology. Schools and businesses are beginning to require that students feel comfortable working with technology. Playing video and computer games helps children develop a better understanding of the technology available and helps them to adjust to other pieces of technology at a faster rate.
Several professors conducted a research project to determine the effect of gaming on academic performance. According to the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology: "Gaming Frequency and Academic Performance," individuals who spend two or more hours playing games on a daily basis score lower in every subject than their non-gaming counterparts. By spending a high percentage of time on video games there is not enough time left to spend in studying for classes. The study found that there was "not a single significant positive correlation between gaming and academic performance." Aside from poor academic performance there are also several negative social problems that result from playing computer and video games. An article in Psychological Science: "Pathological Video Game Use Among Youth 8-18" found that these games can be addictive and can cause children to want to spend more time involved in this pretend world than in reality. This can cause children to not spend as much time as they should preparing for the real challenges of life.
According to a list of statistics produced by Media Family: "Effects of Video Game Playing on Children" roughly 97 per cent of children played video games in 2008. In 2006, 45 per cent of children were regular gamers, which means that they played for two or more hours on a daily basis. These statistics show the importance of learning to choose games that will help strengthen and push the intellect of the child.
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