Pros and Cons of Gaming

Earlier this week my husband and I went to visit some family friends of ours. They have three children who are between the ages of 1 and 6. Their little boy who is 6, loves playing Wii. His mother and I talked about how much time

playing Wii or DSI is appropriate for children. She suggested that there are some benefits to playing these games, skills such as critical thinking are required in order to meet the challenges of each level and in turn, proceed to the next level I also thought about the fine motor and coordination skills that are being developed with the pressing of various keys and buttons. However, I think there are more cons than pros that come to my mind when I consider gaming habits. I think screen time can have a negative impact on children’s eyes (as well as adults), I also think most games lend themselves to physical inactivity. I realize Wii Fit Games strive to combat physical inactivity, however I still think the physical activity provided by these games is inadequate for developing/maintaining healthy bodies.

I think that gaming in moderation is not necessarily detrimental, but I do not know how much is too much. I know many people my age are obsessed with games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft. In these cases, I think the most harmful effect is the desensitization to moral issues such as extreme violence. Other issues regarding risky behaviors are also placed in a positive light for many of these games. A concern I have is that many of the guidelines for these games discourages young audiences from playing, but often these guidelines are ignored. I have a younger cousin who has been playing Call of Duty since he was 6. Obviously, I don’t agree with this but I realize that there are many children who play these games. The presence of desensitization to issues such as violence is prevalent throughout North American media and is not just limited to video games, especially in shows such as CSI. However I think that these types of games force children to take an active role in these behaviors as opposed to just watching them. In regards to non-violent games these issues do not necessarily exist– perhaps in games such as Mario Brothers.My primary concern with gaming is that many people, adults and children included, end up spending too many hours on these screen games–the balance between what is appropriate and what’s too much is something I am interested in researching more about. I am also interested in others opinions on this topic!

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