How do video games affect kids? Is it a danger or development of their skills?

Shall parents allow kids to play video games?

Have you heard about the new AI content generator ChatGPT? If you haven’t - you better learn about it soon . This revolutionary innovation is an important milestone in our society.One of the important members of the creation of ChatGPT is none other than Elon Musk himself! How was he able to reach that point?

Elon Musk is one of the most talented and Tech-savvy people in the world, and can you imagine that he was first introduced to computer science through video games?

His interest in computers and programming began when he was just 10 years old. He used to play video games quite frequently when he was younger, including classic games like Doom and Deus Ex. He programmed his first computer game, called Blastar, at the age of 12 and sold it to a computer magazine for $500.

Another famous IT personality Mark Zuckerberg also enjoyed playing video games as a child.. In fact, he has cited playing video games like "Civilization" and "SimCity" as one of the things that sparked his interest in technology and programming. In addition, Zuckerberg also created a few simple games, including a version of "Risk," when he was in middle school.

Bill Gates was known to be an avid video game player during his childhood. In fact, he has talked about his love for video games in various interviews and even credited his early exposure to programming to his interest in computer games.

In today's rapidly evolving world of computer technologies, it's surprising that some parents still consider video games as a bad thing for kids. Some parents even deliberately withhold computer devices from their children. I find this contradiction puzzling in today’s reality of emerging technology, and I'd like to explore it with you today, by examining the advantages and disadvantages of video games.

History of Video Games

The history of video games dates back to the 1940s and 1950s, when scientists and engineers began experimenting with computer technology. However, the first true video game is considered to be "Tennis for Two," created by physicist William Higinbotham in 1958. The game was played on an oscilloscope and simulated a game of tennis.

In the 1960s and 1970s, video games began to gain popularity with the introduction of games like "Spacewar!" and "Pong."
The 1980s saw the rise of home video game consoles, which led to the creation of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). These consoles brought video games into the homes of millions of people and paved the way for the modern video game industry.
In the 1990s, video games became more sophisticated and began to incorporate 3D graphics and sound. Games like "Super Mario 64" was critically acclaimed and helped establish video games as a legitimate form of entertainment.

The 2000s saw the rise of online gaming and mobile gaming, as well as the introduction of new consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation.
Today, video games continue to be a major part of popular culture and a booming industry. The advent of virtual reality and augmented reality technology promises to push the boundaries of what is possible in gaming even further in the years to come.
In the present day, a wide range of programs is readily accessible to ignite children's curiosity in coding and computer science, paving the way for a promising future. Among these programs, Roblox, Fortnite, Unity, and Minecraft have garnered immense popularity, providing a platform for kids to not only indulge in playful activities but also unleash their creativity by building their very own games. In fact, Roblox has even established a community and job search specifically for Junior Roblox Developers and freelancers, offering opportunities for talented individuals as young as 14 years old.

Cons of video games

Let’s look closer at the pros and cons of playing video games.

One of the most obvious cons of video games is addiction. Video games can be addictive, leading to excessive gameplay and neglect of other important activities such as schoolwork, and social relationships.
Violence: Some video games contain violent or graphic content, which can desensitize players to violence and aggression.

Regarding addiction, I want to share my experience with 6y.o. Child. When we first presented video games to him I set up the rule of 30 min daily limit. However, I noticed that compared with cartoons, it was more difficult to take him away from games once the limit was over. To make my weekdays easier, I modified the rules and allowed him to play games only once a week, exclusively on weekends but for a longer time. And the new strategy seems to work much better in terms of his addiction. It’s easier for my son now to turn off the games when he is pretty satisfied by spending enough time playing.

What I want to deliver today that video games is not an enemy and parents shall not forbid their kids to play completely. We should rather find a way to accept innovations and kids' natural desire to grasp technology by setting limits, so this type of activity doesn’t negatively affect the child’s development.

I strongly advise that parents pay close attention to their child's response to various strategies and adjust accordingly. Additionally, it is essential to monitor the type of video games their child plays to prevent potential risks.

Pros of video games

Let’s talk about pros now. Besides developing a child's interest in technology, I find so many advantages in playing games.

1. Entertainment: Video games can be a great source of entertainment and provide players with hours of fun.
2.Cognitive Benefits: Playing video games can help improve cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, decision-making, spatial awareness, and creativity.

3. Social Interaction: Many video games are designed to be played with others, which can provide players with opportunities to interact socially.
4. Stress Relief: Video games can be a good way for kids to relieve stress.
5. Education: Playing games can motivate children and even enhance their reading and writing abilities at a more rapid pace. Furthermore, the acquisition of computer literacy skills represents a substantial learning opportunity within this context.

What problems do video games solve

By playing social video games, children not only experience various scenarios of interacting with other people, but also learn how to solve conflicts that may arise in real life. Games allow them to safely "rehearse" power and dominance, aggression, pain, and breakups.

What skills do video games develop

Games develop a child's reaction, attention, and hand-motor skills. Researchers note that after playing action games, children read faster and better comprehend what they have read; People who play games frequently are known for their persistence and perseverance (they handle complex tasks better and don't give up until they achieve their goals)

What can video games teach kids?

Despite common myths, video games not only do not cause a degradation of cognitive processes, but also improve such indicators as flexibility, concentration, attentiveness, memory, reaction speed, and non-trivial thinking

How do video games develop the brain?

They have found that children who regularly play video games: have more developed motor skills than their non-playing peers; memorize information faster, easier, and more accurately; showed higher brain activity in areas related to concentration and memory while performing tests.


As we can see, despite some disadvantages, the benefits of playing games are substantial.
The main parents’ role is to give kids an opportunity to develop their skills and talents, and playing video games is one of such opportunities. I encourage parents not to prohibit computer games but to set limits, adjust and monitor instead. In the process of upbringing, not only children, our little shenanigans, learn, but also parents.

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