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Why video games are better for children than you think

Written by Riya Makwana

New studies have found that playing videos games is healthy – but why?

Playing outside doesn’t feel as common as it once was. It is no longer typical to see groups of children playing football out on the streets compared to back in the 1990s, for example.

But the number of children playing video games is increasing steadily. In fact gaming has become one of the most the common ways of socialising, with a huge rise in the number playing online.

Should you be worried?

There are many articles circulating online suggesting that playing too many video games is damaging to your psychological health, however new research suggests that this may not be the case.

Studies suggest video games are a positive way to replace the loss of other forms of play. Many studies have taken place suggesting that video gaming benefits children in the same way that other playing does.

What are the benefits of video-gaming?

According to Huffington Post there are many benefits, including:

  • Increase in navigational, memory functioning, strategic planning and fine motor skills in the hands. Many gamers have increased hand-eye coordination skills from gaming regularly.
  • Increase brain flexibility: Strategic video games such as ‘Starcraft.’ Many games increase problem-solving skills and allows gamers to exercise their brains by working out how to resolve situations.
  • For the elderly: Playing a brain-testing games for just two-hours a week has proven to slower the rate of mental depreciation of cognitive skills. Playing for ten hours a week can stall the natural decline of mental ageing all together. Also, with new, virtual reality games, the elderly can be active in the comfort of their own homes.

We still think that you can’t beat playing games outside in the sunshine. But perhaps it’s time to reconsider bemoaning the amount of time your child spends shooting monsters or squashing mushrooms on the small screen. At least for now.

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