Games are among the core pillars of entertainment and leisure. Entertainment is important for relaxation purposes as well as a diversion from stress and demanding lives. According to statistics Children are most affected by stress and how to cope with it. Games form a means of dealing with stress and reducing depression, resulting in a balanced life. Children, therefore, tend to play more to cope with stress or to forget a problem.
Games have evolved greatly from outdoor activities to more complex games such as those that involve virtual reality. Virtual reality games such as simulators are specifically designed to train the user with certain skills. Skills such as driving vehicles, airplanes, and scientific modeling can all be learned through simulators. Simulators games provide an environment for learning and the same time testing new ideas, for example, teens who tend to play driving games on occasion have been shown to be better drivers in the real world and learn to drive faster than those who do not play this games. They also provide a safe place to practice desired skills without any potential for physical harm.
Majority of teens notably, participate in mirrored organizational games and procedures in and out of the school environment. Teens tend to often play outside of school. Out-of-school games form a means of providing a play environment to children while their parents are at work or busy. This keeps them busy and engaged, leaving them less time to participate in unlawful acts .the school playgrounds on the other hand, however, are a designated space for them to let of classroom steam.
The games are essential for physical development. According to Nabi, (2009) children who engaged more in interactive play with others tend to be more social and approachable. By learning to coordinate with others while playing they learn to work well in teams and contribute their individual skills. Physical games help them learn to coordinate movement, muscle development, and increase flexibility.
Social benefits of games are a major component of development in youth (Dunckley, 2015). Explains that playing games formed a major basis of social interactions between children at an early age. By the time they reach puberty they are capable of working productively with others, interact with others. The social benefits prepare them for work in future where interactions and teamwork are necessary.
Games form a major impact on a person's creativity. While growing up children engage more often in creative play as opposed to object play, they also acquire creative skills from the objects of play they interact with. They come up with their own games, rules, and objectives. As they grow older their creativity increases with increase in play. People who engage in playing games in their youth have statistically been shown to be more successful. They are more innovative with their ideas. Games teach the mind to come up with new ideas based on criteria presented to them.
Playing helps improve the cognitive functions of an individual .action games have been shown to be the most effective in boosting cognitive functions. Research by the neuroscience department at the University of Wisconsin has supported this claim. Nabi, (2009) Suggest that partaking in games helps to overcome some cognitive barriers such as memory, self-control, and focus. These games enable the player to make rapid and accurate decisions, they train the mind to make fast judgments without losing precision. By playing games the mind learns to identify objects of importance more quickly and efficiently, a trait that is particularly important in preparing the youth in industry and business.
The cognitive function of focus is greatly improved by games.it also enable the participants to focus on certain objects. Youth who play games often have a longer concentration span and are able to concentrate on several objects at once. Although this has been wildly debated with some research showing that games only increase short-term concentration but greatly decrease the long-term concentration span (Dunckley, 2015). Rapid movements in action games improve the player's perception as well as low-level vision. Some studies suggest that most gamers make decisions four times faster than those do not game.
Games most notably video games have been closely linked to increased aggression in children. The games tend to depict aggressive behavior such as murder and fighting in a way that seems harmless in the real world, however, continued exposure to such material has proven to have a negative psychological effect on teens.in some instances the influence of this games has led to murder, robbery, arson etc. The games show them that this acts of violence are okay. The players become impulsive and tend to act out without much thought first-person shooting video games may result in a detached view of society.
Besides increased aggression and violent behavior, video games instill wrong values among children. Majority of the games in the market are vulgar and filled nudity. Others portray women in weak and demeaning roles with sexually provocative character. Adolescents become less empathetic when they are continuously exposed to violent games. According to research conducted by The American Psychological Association (APA), there is a direct relationship between the expressions of immoral behaviors and the type of games being played by the children.
Excessive indoor gaming can lead to health issues among children. By spending too much time playing the games, they sideline other activities that promote health and fitness. This results in a multitude of health conditions such as obesity, nerve compression, and numbness, skeletal disorders, muscular disorders etc.( Hoffner, & Zoonen, 2017).Gaming too often can also lead to psychological disorders, adolescents tend to be more impulsive due to the increased amount of time they spend playing. Their haste decisions are a mirrored by the gaming world where there exist no consequences.
Teenage boys are more likely to be negatively affected by games than girls. It has been proven that boys are more likely to engage in video games whereas ladies tend to engage more playing with dolls and soft toys. Teenage girls prefer social and outdoor activities over indoor games (Haugen, 2008). Boys are also drawn more towards violent games making them more prone to their negative effects. Girls are least likely to be heavily influenced by action games.
Excessive engaging in gaming, be it outdoor or indoor can lead to poor performances in school. The children tend to spend more of their time playing than studying. The indoor games have been shown to take much of the player's sleep time and consequently reduce the time for other school activities. According to Hart (2017), video games tend to lower the class attention span of an individual and at the same time deprive them of sleep. Some students also admittedly skip doing assigned work to play games instead.
Video games according to the National Institute of media in Minneapolis tend to be addictive to teens. Such addictions do not allow them time to carry out other activities. Addictions have also been shown to be a major cause of anxiety and depression among the younger generation (Gonzalez, 2007)).They become dependent on the game and are hence less productive in real life. Youths prioritize only on the games, according to Valentine, (2016) 97 percent of all youth play video games, some spend up to 13 hours every week playing games.
Adolescents should be afforded the time to play games however this time and content of the games should be kept in check to avoid some of the demerits listed above. Games play a vital role in human growth and cannot be sidelined, according to Rogers, (2016). They provide critical life experiences without which young people cannot develop into confident and competent adults. Everyone plays games at some point in their lives and those that do not are less productive and withdrawn in society.
Despite the overwhelmingly negative impacts of games on children researchers have argued and proven that they are essential in both mental and physical growth, and suggest that instead of banning or restricting the games the types of games and play duration should have boundaries. It is important for teens to be afforded gaming time and their choice of play.
Valentine, K. D. (2016). Examining the Evolution of Gaming and Its Impact on Social. Hershey, UNITED STATES: Information Science Reference.
In Hart, C. B. (2017). The evolution and social impact of video game economics. Lanham: Lexington Books.
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