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Can Video Games Make You Smarter?

1147 words - 5 pages

Video games can be a fun escape from reality although they’re often interpreted as violent, lazy, and a waste of time by some people. So the question is: can video games actually make you smarter? Video games can improve functions of the brain linked to memory, strategic planning, and increase hand-eye coordination. (Guarini)
The video games in question are not the hours-on-end kind of games, because too much of anything is bad; even with broccoli or water, an extreme amount of either of those can be toxic. It is believed that 91 percent of American households play video games. However, 83 percent of parents set a time limit on the games for their children. (Van Camp)
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Games such as puzzles and riddles have been shown to slow aging process of the brain by up to 7 years because they can be mentally complex and require mental energy. (Guarini)
Researchers presented evidence that playing fast-paced video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia and increase their attention spans. Children ages 7 to 13 were separated into two groups, one of the groups played a Rayman, a fast paced, constantly moving, action game while the other played a slower game like The Sims. Afterwards, the reading skills of the children were tested and those who played Rayman were more efficient at reading faster and accurately. The researchers concluded that action games boost kid’s attention spans, a skill considered essential to reading. (Guarini)
Video games have several positive effects to the mind, but how much is too much? “Elementary school children who play video games more than two hours a day are 67 percent more likely than their peers who play less to have greater-than-average attention problems” (Klein) However, a study in the journal ‘Pediatrics’ doesn't justify that video games are the direct cause to attention problems. For instance, it could be that kids who have short attention spans to begin with might be more in favor of picking up a controller rather than a book. (Klein)
Too much of anything can be bad for you. For instance, gamers who are burrowed too deeply into their electronic worlds can face off with various health risks, ranging blood clots to severe dehydration. Although these are rare cases, they are a reminder that sitting in front of a computer or gaming console for days-on-end isn't healthy for anyone. (Oskin)
Psychologists who study video games and kids say that parents shouldn't worry about the amount of time spent gaming, unless it starts to affect the child’s school, health, or social life, but excessive amounts of gaming will deprive children and teens of their social life and fighting bad guys will begin to replace homework. Which is why parents should set a limit of screen time to at most two hours a day to try and keep their kids active and healthy. (Oskin)
Gamers are known as people who sit alone in...

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