Parents are very concerned of their children’s health. But do you know that aside for the right food and drinks, playtime also contributes to your child’s overall health? And we are not just talking about outdoor games. We are also talking about video and computer games.
The fact that many young people play video games like League of Legends (LOL accounts) is rightly viewed with concern. Still, the answer is not as simple as we might like it to be. After all, everyone reacts differently to situations and impressions, and gaming can have positive effects on certain people.
Effects of Video Games on Children That Many are Not Aware Of
The context also plays a role. For example, a UK study for Aggressive Behavior magazine said that when participants were given a positive job playing a violent video game – like helping a friend out of a tight spot – they subsequently showed much less signs of aggression than players who were only allowed to played to destroy enemies and win the game.
Increased self-esteem and the feeling of competence
Computer games can also serve a completely different purpose, lead to satisfaction, and increase self-esteem. This is the conclusion reached by Berni Good, a British researcher who deals with the psychology of gamers. She calls the so-called self-determination theory, an important research point in her field. Abbreviated SDT (Self-Determination Theory), this theory focuses on basic psychological needs that can be met by playing.
SDT mainly examines the three important points of competence, social integration, and autonomy.
On the one hand, there is a need for competence that everyone feels strongly. This can be accomplished by playing successfully, solving tasks and overcoming difficulties. Social inclusion is another factor. This is expressed when players share their success and experiences when playing with others, be it on social media, in online forums, in multiplayer games or in any other way. Autonomy is the third important factor. We humans must (to be satisfied) feel that we are in control of our own destiny, that we have our life under control to a certain extent. We can do that while playing. a. by choosing paths and game directions in open world games. When we decide the fate of the characters and make wise and useful decisions, it gives us a sense of control over ourselves, even outside the game. This increases our self-confidence.
Computer games lead to brain growth
Another study, conducted at the Max Planck Institute and the Charité University Clinic at St. Hedwig Hospital, showed that both the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and the cerebellum had all grown by playing video games among participants. Participants played Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes daily for two months. The result was impressive and extremely enjoyable for video game defenders. Physical changes were observed in this study, which seemed to provide tangible evidence of the positive effects on our brain. The prefrontal cortex enables cognitive functions, the hippocampus contributes to memory formation and the cerebellum is involved in motor skills (in this study, a change in the motor skills of the hands, which are used to control computer games, was particularly noticeable).
So positive effects have been observed. To say that playing video games would only have negative consequences would not be correct. There are studies that support both sides. There is no clear answer here, but, like so much in life, playing has something for itself and something against itself. It probably also depends a lot on the person who is playing. How she evaluates situations and impressions and what exactly is fun about gaming. Certainly, it also depends to a certain extent on how violent or not the player was before playing video games. If a gamer understands that the game is an imaginary world – and indeed a game – playing can even have positive effects on the brain and self-esteem. The scientist Dr. Daphne Bavelier, an expert in brain research and research on cognitive behavior, puts it this way: It’s like wine. Drinking for the wrong reasons can be harmful. But a glass every now and then and at the right age can have a positive impact on health. Please write us your opinion on the topic as a comment below. We’d love to hear what you think about it.