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Sunday, 2 September 2018

Are Video Games Bad For Kids?

Dr. Vincent Wan


Video games get a bad rap.  They stop kids going outdoors to play.  Kids sit all day staring at screens so they become fat due to a lack of exercise.  The flashing lights at close range are bad for the eyes.  They are the reason more kids need glasses.  Kids sit in front of a screen by themselves and become anti-social.  They don’t develop the normal social skills through interaction with other kids in person.  These are all the negative things associated with video games.

What if video games were used for exercise?  You can’t sit to play the game.  You have to stand and move about in order to complete the levels, win prizes and unlock new content.  When playing these video games, kids would be keeping active, not just sitting in front of a screen.  There are many of these type of games now available.

What if video games encouraged you to rest your eyes?  Looking at anything for a long time can be bad for your eyes.  Being out in the bright sunlight can make your eyes sore if you are not wearing sunglasses.  Doing an assignment on the computer for a few hours can be draining on your eyes.  At least video games have an inbuilt warning and ask you to rest your eyes after playing for a certain amount of time.

What if video games encouraged social interaction?  There are many offline games that allow you to play together with a second player on a second controller.  Many online games allow you to play with and against other people.  This interaction is not just on the screen either.  Many games encourage the use of headsets with microphones and talking to each other while playing.

Video games are not as bad for kids as they have been made out to be.  These days video games are part of kids’ lives.  As long as playing is in moderation, there should be nothing wrong with it.