I’m not one to fall for these sort of articles, but there is a rather interesting study making the rounds on the gaming interweb right now, and it’s one involving the effects video games have on children.
We’ve been taught by the media that they are horrible murder simulators, true, but according to the study an hour or so of gaming per day was actually shown to make children more docile and empathize with others much more easily. I suppose the same could be said for any relaxing hobby, including smoking a cigarette or having a glass of wine after a hard day of work, but I digress…
The funny thing about the study is that when researchers allowed children to go past that “magic” one hour mark, these positives quickly fell away and the children began exhibiting behavioral problems. Playing in upwards of 5 hours per day made these children “less happy with life” and fall prone to hyperactivity and learning disorders.
You can get a break down of the report from The Today Show, but I think we all have enough experience ourselves to outrank those in the study.
Personally, and this is only going by me and my friends growing up, but as a child I would sit in front of my NES playing Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior 3 for as much as 10 hours straight. We were nerds with straight A’s and honor rolls and not a single one of us got into trouble or did drugs. We all became well-adjusted adults and still game hardcore to this day, well…when the wives let us anyway.
In this writer’s opinion, I feel games are a great escape when you’re in a bad situation or environment. They can expand your mind, grant you a powerful imagination and even get you into social groups that aid your growth as a person. Sure, you can put kids in a room and study what happens after they marathon game, but you’d be missing the outside benefits of it. To some kid growing up in a crime infested ghetto as a gifted student struggling to stay clean and safe in a horrid environment, gaming is more than a hobby. It’s a healthy escape.
Though I’ll be the first to admit there are a bunch of 8 year olds playing CoD right now who run around the grocery store I shop at every weekend and they all curse and carry on like the foul-mouthed stereotypical punks you always hear about…so there’s that.
Any thoughts on the report? Experiences of your own to share? Think it’s all bunk?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.