Playing computer games can harm us or not? If yes, to what extent?

Most parents see video games as useless for their kids. Some experts agree that spending too many hours in front of a screen, can damage the brain. The media blames violent games for having the ability to alter someone’s behavior, and while some psychologists and scientists argue that computer games also have benefits, not many are willing to accept that some video games can do a lot of good, too.

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Believe it or not, not every video game involves shootings and killings. Some of them are meant to teach high-level thinking skills. According to some scientists, video games can alter the brain; they can modify its physical structure. They’ve compared the process with physical exercise that builds muscle mass, and they mentioned that the rewarding heaves of neurotransmitters and powerful combination of focus strengthen the neural circuits that put together the brain.

Benefits of computer games

As much as we want to believe that computer games can harm us, there are some indisputable benefits we just have to mention first.  Famous games like “Cut the Rope”, “Angry Birds”, and “The Incredible Machine” “Cooking Games 365” are training not damaging the brain. They’re not just meant to entertain. The brain of a child that struggles to solve puzzles has greater chances of developing faster. As far as shooting games are concerned, just because the character-player is running and shooting all the time, it doesn’t mean that computer game fosters violence.

In first-person shooting games, the player has to coordinate the character. He’s in charge of monitoring speed, aiming, and strategizing. It’s not just about the violence. There’s a whole process involved that calls for eye-hand coordination, as well as visual-spatial abilities to succeed. When a player is engaged in a video game, the brain goes through an extremely intense workout. Researchers are stressing out that computers games based on simulating events (actions and battles) could be a preparation tool for the real world. A recent study mentions that games can be successfully used train surgeons and soldiers because they can be incredibly accurate.

Negative aspects of computer games

In spite of all the benefits computer games may have, they do have bad effects. Most of these effects are linked to the increased level of violence they enclose. There have been many studies performed on the matter, and it looks like violent computer games could make players more aggressive. Most parents are concerned that players get rewards for being so violent in a video game. The more they shoot, kick, stab or kill, the more they’re being rewarded for their in-game performance.

Playing too many computer games can make kids become socially isolated. The negative effects are devastating, but they’re not necessarily related to violence. For example, spending 5 hours in front of the screen means spending very little time for reading, interacting with peers, and doing their homework, thus computer games may be interfering with the social life of your children, which is why parents should do everything they can to limit their time spent in front of the screen.

There’s definitely some truth to the affirmation that video games are harmful. However, that’s not always the case, especially if the person who plays the game is an adult. We live in a modern world where we’re all gamers in one way or another. Some engage in massive RPGs like War of Warcraft, others would rather stick to social games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. As for kids, while some computer games could influence their perceptions, it’s a parent’s job to limit the amount of time they spend in front of the screen.

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