Stress over technology has steadily climbed higher and higher on parents’ lists of fears. While no studies have proven that video games mess with kids’ brains or encourage violent behavior, parents still fear their addictive traits. They also worry about the damage video games do to developing brains.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. While excessive gaming has been correlated to loneliness and depression, a healthy amount of game time is associated to positive thinking and creativity. A study from the University of Oxford claims that video games’ effects on teens and kids is hard to measure, demonstrating many contradictory conclusions.
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According to experts, video games that encourage kids to think outside of the box and feature interesting story lines are good for them, encouraging creative thinking and developing areas of their brains they don’t normally use.
“A lot of good games are intricate systems. They’re like digital machines kids can tinker with and poke at,” said Tanner Higgins in an interview with the New York Post.
According to the study, these type of positive games amount to around 40% of the video games on the market. While there are games out there labeled as educational, these provide less positive results, resulting in tedious activities that act as extensions from school work.
“You want to get kids thinking a bit more deeply about what they’re experiencing,” Higgins says.
He suggests that instead of having parents recoil and fear video games, they should try to get more involved. Instead ask your kids why they enjoy them, how they’ll solve the problems presented, and what they get out of playing.