Digital Games have been popular for a long time now, and ever since everyone has got a liking for them. However, the introduction of games on mobile devices/smartphones has taken love for online games to the next level. This has brought gaming into bedrooms, cars while walking around and you can name some places too!
Everywhere you see, children are glued to their devices playing some games – either online or offline. It’s hard to find children who aren’t playing games on mobile devices.
But are all online games bad for your children?
Researchers have studied and are still studying, to understand the effects of online games on a child’s development. They are still studying because every game is different and gaming apps are constantly evolving. There are some games that are educative, entertaining, challenging, some that are good for learning and brain development and relaxing games. At the same time, there are games that can have a negative impact. Remember the Momo Challenge?? Yes, not all games are good for children and their effects can be adverse.
In this blog, we are discussing the pros and cons of online games for Children. Keep reading and discover what’s good for your child.
Positive Effects of Online or Digital Games on Children
- Life Skills
Most games played online require interacting with people in teams. This encourages the child to understand how teams work and coordinate. Similarly, they learn the knacks of building winning strategies and problem-solving skills. These skills will help them in their professional and personal life in the long run. Just a heads-up – Parents need to keep an eye out on what kind of games these are since the children will be interacting with strangers here.
- Better Decision-making Skills
This is an important skill anyone and everyone must learn. Games are a good way of learning these skills as in real-time games, there is no much time to decide and you are required to make quick decisions. This helps in sculpting decision-making skills that are valuable in real-life situations, where you need to make quick decisions or decisions under pressure.
- Coordination Between Hands and Eyes
Online games help children understand the coordination between the hand and the eye – they begin to learn how the movements of their hands affect the game and how important the visual references around them are. This is a very good brain exercise at a young age – good hand-eye coordination is essential for daily life activities – whether it is sports activities or puzzle-solving.
- Better at language and grammar and yes, creativity
Some educative games teach children language and grammar skills which is very important at an early age. Along with it, they also inculcate creativity.
Negative Effects of Online or Digital Games on Children
In 2018, WHO declared the addiction to playing online video games as a gaming disorder. There are games that can become very addictive and can increase their anxiety and depression levels. It is very difficult for parents to get their children out of this situation as they then (children) tend to exhibit violent behaviour.
- Health Issues
This is a very obvious sort of negative effect. Although we mentioned that coordination of hand-eye is vital, longer hours can strain your child’s eyesight. Not only this, the child’s cognitive development can get affected as s/he will not be socializing in the real world. Constantly sitting in one place can also increase the risk of obesity, weaken the muscles and joints.
- Lowers Academic Interests
Extensive and long hours of playing can push them away from their studies. Also, longer screen hours have known to show poor performances in academics; they tend to skip homework, wake up late and skip school, etc. This can adversely affect their emotional intelligence as well. If you are finding ways to limit screen time for your child. Check the link below.
- Exposure to Wrong Values
There is no denying that video games contain excessive violence, racism, sexuality, profanity, and many other subjects that may not be the right content for your child. They may try and imitate these in real life and end up in situations no parent would ever want their child to be in. A child’s brain is developing and they won’t be able to differentiate right from wrong, they might happen to believe that the adult content is in fact what happens in real life and enact as stated above. Violent games can also trigger aggressive behavior in children.
How Can Parents Help Children Enjoy Games in a good sense and avoid problems?
Like mentioned, not all games are bad, but Parents need to keep certain aspects in mind to make sure their children enjoy the games the right way without any problems.
- Check the rating, age limit, and any content warnings while purchasing or downloading a game.
- Try to play the game with your child
- Keep a fixed time for games.
- Allow gaming only in public area/view
- Get your child into a habit of outdoor sports and other physical activities.
- Use the best parental control app to control your child’s device.
Online games have both negative and positive impact, it is up to you to make sure your child is kept away from the negative impacts.