Life in middle school: Video games: Not all bad for students

Life in middle school: Video games: Not all bad for students

By Jacob DeAngelis

In today's world, many people think that kids who play a lot of video games are automatically worse off than those who spend time doing other things.

These people think that video games will "rot" a child’s brain and make them unable to succeed in school. But the truth is quite the opposite in most cases. Video games actually supply multiple benefits that can provide students with a lot of help in school.

Multiple case studies have been conducted that suggest video games provide positive effects to students that play them.

The American Psychological Association has conducted a large-scale study on the effects of playing video games on children in school. It concluded that gaming can make a student able to study longer due to gaming for long periods of time. It also found that certain types of video games can make students have higher cognitive thinking skills, such as thinking on the spot under pressure, problem solving and improved social skills while working together.

“This enhanced thinking was not found with playing other types of video games, such as puzzles or role-playing games," the study stated.

The study cited statistics saying that students who played computer games often did well in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Multiple other studies showed that it not only affects children cognitively, but emotionally, too. Different studies conducted by the American Psychological Association and Raisesmartkid.com have studied different students and their emotional performance. They stated that computer games can improve students' moods, promote relaxation and improve the student’s ability to cope with anxiety.

They also pointed out that by learning to cope with the continuous failures in a game, they can build up the emotional resilience they can rely on in their daily lives.

Video games can also simulate real-world skills, which include driving cars and meeting new people.

Raisesmartkid.com and Innova Design Group both agree that the future will involve a lot of technology, and children who play video games are already being introduced to some of these new technologies. The video games are allowing the students to learn and practise new technologies, which will make them more efficient when using these technologies for other applications.

There are, of course, some possible negative effects of gaming, particularly when gaming to excess, but these studies provide a lot of reasons to believe that video games can also be good for children.

This article first appeared in the June 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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About the author

Jacob Deangelis is a Grade 8 student at Cayman International School.