Teens and video games go hand-in-hand today. In fact, 97% of teens and kids in the US play video games at least for one hour every day. In what way do video games affect teenagers? Effects are both good and bad.
Let’s begin with something positive.
- Improves cognitive functions
video gaming can enhance multiple cognitive skills such as better allocation of attention, visual processing, memory, reasoning, and perception. Studied a meta-analysis of video games and concluded that the positive effects of violent games included improvement in a player’s capability of thinking in different dimensions.
- Hand and eye coordination
Teens can learn spatial, visual and eye-hand coordination skills from video games, especially from shooter games. Some games require a great deal of these skills to be successful. For example, players need to keep track of positions, speed, aim, directions and more.
- Problem Solving Ability
Video games can aid teens in developing problem solving skills because while playing strategic video games like role-plays, young adolescents get better at solving problems.
The bad effects of video games are mostly related to the amount of play and the game content.
- Aggression in Teens
Most detrimental effects of playing violent video games is increased aggression in children. Some researchers have claimed that violent video games can desensitize children to violence, and lower the likelihood of a pro-social behavior.
- Addiction to gaming
Pathological gamers are likely to develop anxiety, insomnia, social isolation, and depression. These factors are co-morbid in the sense that they can influence each other.
- Poor academic performance
This is one of the side effects of video games on teens. Playing video games for long hours can affect a teen’s performance in school. A survey has shown that 47% of heavy online players got poor grades, while 23% of light users performed better than them
- Health Problems
If you spends all your free time playing video games and skipping meals or losing sleep, it will affect your well-being. This reveals that excessive game play, a video game addiction can negatively impact one’s health. University of Texas notes that the addiction can lead to such medical issues as backaches, headaches, eye strain and numbness that the child may feel in his wrists, hands, shoulders and elbows.