Impacts of Video/Computer Games on Children: What Studies Show

Based on the results of nine studies, there are some real negative impacts but also some misconceptions about the impacts of playing entertainment-oriented but not violent video or computer video games on children.

As for the negative impacts, playing entertainment-oriented video/computer games is associated with attention problems at school. Heavier engagement in entertainment-oriented video-game play (from young school age children to adolescents) is consistently negatively related to scholastic performance because the children spend less time on after-school academic activities. Playing computer games for more than 0.8 hours per day increases the odds of myopia, although one of the studies indicated that heredity is still the strongest factor in predicting myopia.

As for the misconceptions:

Social ability: The frequency of video game use had no correlation with children’s popularity among classmates. Even though some other findings showed that the frequency of video game use had slightly negative correlations with boys’ social abilities such as empathy, and their mental abilities, the author explained that this result did not mean that video game use caused boys’ weaker social abilities. Rather, boys with weaker sympathizing abilities tend to play more video games.

Spatial ability: It depends on the type of game. For example, playing action games is significantly more effective than word games for improving spatial performance.

Enhancing attentional skills in the context of out-of-school play activities : The findings of one study showed that action video game players of all ages have enhanced attentional skills that allow them to make faster correct responses to targets, which leaves them with additional processing resources that spill over to process distractors flanking the targets.

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM

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Details of Scientific Answers: Click on each bullet to Read References



1: "The Development Of Attention Skills In Action Video Game Players," Neuropsychologia, 2009, by MWG Dye, CS Green, D Bavelier. (Citations: 195).

Previous research suggests that action video game play improves attentional resources, allowing gamers to better allocate their attention across both space and time. In order to further characterize the plastic changes resulting from playing these video games, we ...



1: "Television And Video Game Exposure And The Development Of Attention Problems," Pediatrics, 2010, by EL Swing, DA Gentile, CA Anderson, DA Walsh. (Citations: 169).

OBJECTIVES: Television viewing has been associated with greater subsequent attention problems in children. Few studies have examined the possibility of a similar association between video games and attention problems, and none of these has used a longitudinal ...


1: "The Effects Of Violent Video Game Habits On Adolescent Hostility, Aggressive Behaviors, And School Performance," Journal Of Adolescence, 2004, by DA Gentile, PJ Lynch, JR Linder, DA Walsh. (Citations: 791).

Video games have become one of the favorite activities of American children. A growing body of research is linking violent video game play to aggressive cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors. The first goal of this study was to document the video games habits of ...

2: "Children And Video Games: Addiction, Engagement, And Scholastic Achievement," Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 2009, by MM Skoric, LLC Teo, RL Neo. (Citations: 98).

Abstract The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between video gaming habits and elementary school students' academic performance. More specifically, we seek to examine the usefulness of a distinction between addiction and high engagement and assess the ...

3: "Effects Of Video-Game Ownership On Young Boys' Academic And Behavioral Functioning A Randomized, Controlled Study," Psychological Science, 2010, by R Weis, BC Cerankosky. (Citations: 58).

Abstract Young boys who did not own video games were promised a video-game system and child-appropriate games in exchange for participating in an ongoing study of child development. After baseline assessment of boys' academic achievement and parent-and ...


1: "Effect Of Video Game Practice On Spatial Skills In Girls And Boys," Journal Of Applied Developmental Psychology, 1994, by K Subrahmanyam, PM Greenfield. (Citations: 394).

Abstract A study of the effect of video game practice on spatial abilities in girls and boys was carried out. Spatial performance, measured using two subtests of a computerized spatial skills battery, was significantly better in boys than in girls during pretest assessment. ...


1: "Video Game Use And The Development Of Sociocognitive Abilities In Children: Three Surveys Of Elementary School Students1," Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 1994, by A Sakamoto. (Citations: 86).

The purpose of the present study was to examine the validity of the popular hypothesis that video game use will prevent children from socially adjusting. Three surveys of elementary school children were reported. The primary results were as follows:(a) The frequency of ...


1: "Parental Myopia, Near Work, School Achievement, And Children'S Refractive Error," Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2002, by DO Mutti, GL Mitchell. (Citations: 414).

purpose. To quantify the degree of association between juvenile myopia and parental myopia, near work, and school achievement. methods. Refractive error, parental refractive status, current level of near activities (assumed working distance-weighted hours per ...

2: "Reading, Writing, Working On A Computer Or Watching Television, And Myopia.," Klinika oczna, 2009, by D Czepita, A Mojsa, M Ustianowska, M Czepita. (Citations: 7).

PURPOSE: The aim of our study was to investigate on a large population if reading, writing, working on a computer or watching television might be associated with the occurrence of myopia. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 5865 schoolchildren were examined (2792 ...


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Impacts of Video/Computer Games on Children: What Studies Show

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