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Video Games Help Enhance Children's Lives

1703 words - 7 pages

"Today, in the United States, 91% of children between the ages of 2 and 17 play videogames, and a nationally representative study of U.S. teenagers found that up to 99% of boys and 94% of girls play these games" (Granic, Label and Engels 1). Video games have become virtually ubiquitous, belonging to almost every single modern day family. The market’s popularity, as well as its disapproval, has increased dramatically ever since they were invented. Many critics have been arguing for the past couple decades or so that these electronic games have destroyed the lives of children by making them sedentary and obese. However, recent studies support that video games are not harming children, but in fact are providing them with several benefits that they can incorporate in their everyday lives. Improvements have been found in cognition, social behaviors, emotional well-being, and many other areas that are necessary for a child’s growth and success. All children should use video games as an essential tool to make their worlds easier and more understandable.
One of the most important areas that video games benefit is cognition, which is how people process and receive knowledge. Video games improve problem-solving abilities (Granic, Label and Engels 4). Additionally, they augment spatial working memory and visual search abilities (Oei and Patterson 13). Experience video gamers have developed adept behaviors such as problem perception and self-observance (Hayes and Silberman 19). Furthermore, video games have different beneficial effects on cognition depending on what type of games they are (Oei and Patterson 15). Puzzle games, such as Tetris, help improve people’s mental rotation skills (Oei and Patterson 1). Action video games have helped people enhance their peripheral vision and capabilities to multitask (Oei and Patterson 1). Studies have shown that people who play shooting video games demonstrate that they have more precise and quicker attention allocation, improvements in visual perception, and augmented mental rotation capabilities (Granic, Label and Engels 3). Although critics discourage these violent, realistic games, the skills that children adapt are evidently necessary to their development. In addition to the benefits that every child receives, "...researchers have used video games to help learning disabled children in their development of spatial abilities, problem-solving exercises, and mathematical ability" (Griffiths 48). The amplitude of these cognitive effects is also dependent on the size of the screen; greater augmentations are found when the player interacts with a smaller screen (Oei and Patterson 15). Moreover, children aren’t the only ones who receive these enhancements. The Israeli Air Force utilizes a video game simulation that helps improve their cognitive abilities with decision-making skills (Drummond 20). Basketball players also enhance their decision-making skills in their games with a simulation called...

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