Video games have been a part of children's life for the past few decades. It all started when Atari came up with its first gaming console, which included a very simple game of tennis. The controller had just one stick and one button to play with. Now, we have many different types of consoles available in the market with very complex games that requires controllers with two or more sticks and a variety of buttons. Video games are almost second nature to the modern children and they are more comfortable playing them. Playing video games can have many different effects (both positive as well as negative) on children. Some of these effects include increasing hand-eye coordination and increasing dexterity mental skills; a decreased interest in other activities such as studies and sports; and a very negative effect of inducing violence.
One of the most positive effects of video games is increasing the dexterity of a child and improving his or her hand-eye coordination. As mentioned earlier, the new video games that are coming out are extremely complex and they involve the movement of many different kinds of sticks and buttons on the controllers. These can be very good for children as they learn to make fast connections between what they see and what their hands and fingers are doing. This allows them to think quickly and improves their reflexes. The newest games are very precision-based and it takes very minute and accurate movements for the children to control the characters. This helps in making the children much more adept at handling and operating real-life machinery and objects.
Another effect that playing videogames have on children is that they tend to get addicted to playing these games and give them foremost priority. This takes the children away from their other responsibilities, such as doing house chores, homework, and other physical activities. Children also end up spending more time playing videogames in front of television screens than playing real and actual sports that involve physical exercise. This in turn can have many health-related problems for the children, as they can get obese if they don't exercise and stay home playing video games. This is perhaps the worst negative effect that videogames can have on children. Parents and educators all over the world are concerned about this phenomenon and they are urging the children to not spend so much time playing video games. Many new video game consoles, such as the new Nintendo WII, have come out with games that require users to actually get up and move.
Many researchers have talked about the effects of viewing violence in the media and how it affects children. Videogames takes this to another level, where the children are actually participating in being violent in the video games. There are many game out there that allow the children to play arm bearing characters who can kill anyone that they want, steal cars, and commit many different kinds of crime. These games can have negative implications on the children as they get immune to the idea of committing crime and end up believing that it is all right. Research is still ongoing on this negative effect and it has not entirely been proven or disproven as of yet.
We find that playing videogames can have various effects on the children, both positive as well as negative. Even though the children can benefit by increasing their dexterity and improving their reflexes, the cost of them losing out on their physical exercise and homework, as well as their becoming prone to violent acts, are way too much. It is important that the parents and the educators take up this problem seriously and enable certain rules and regulations that allow children to divide their time responsibly between playing videogames and completing their studies and other responsibilities.