Currently, there is a serious problem of excessive enthusiasm for gadgets such as computers, smartphones, tablets. This issue is relevant for children and parents of all ages. In adolescence, one of the most challenging crisis periods in a person’s life, there is a problem of going into virtual reality through computer games. Thus, all these aspects are of particular concern to modern parents, teachers, and medical professionals. Therefore, limiting the use of a computer will help the child to avoid health problems, avoid inappropriate behavior, and make individual life more private.
Arguments for Video Games Affect the Health
One of the most common diseases developing against the background of a total fascination with video games is myopia. Myopia is an eye disorder when person’s eyes do not focus light correctly so distant objects appear blurred. Hours of focusing on close objects lead to the loss of the ability to distinguish objects located at a greater distance than the monitor is usually located (Lanca, 2020). Thus, such a disease can have a significant impact on the future career of a child where good eyesight is required, for example, a pilot.
Another factor affecting health is problems with sleep or physical activity. For the most part, children play computer games in the evening, which has a negative trait. The fact is that the bright screen of gadgets leads to the excitation of the nervous system (Zhu, 2020). This is since the brain perceives the light of the screen as daylight, which is why the sleep cycle in the body is disrupted (Zhu, 2020). Thus, all this affects the level of physical strength during the day, meaning frequent fatigue and exhaustion.
Video Games Lead to Inappropriate Behaviour for Children
People created computer games designed for adolescence without considering age characteristics. However, during the period of active socialization and assimilation of social roles, they significantly impact the formation of personality (Coyne et al., 2018). Computer addiction leads to social maladaptation, the possible appearance of increased aggression, and antisocial behavior (Coyne et al., 2018). Most computer games show violence, impunity, permissiveness; teenagers lose their sense of reality and broadcast the actions of games to real life (Coyne et al., 2018). All this subsequently leads to antisocial behavior, which affects friendly relationships and the future of the child.
Communicating Through Video Games Could Be Dangerous for Children
Almost every game today contains one or another system for players to communicate. It is worth noting that such connection between team members is critically important, and, unfortunately, this tool is often used for negative purposes, such as online bullying (Livingstone, 2019). Thus, the child may face insults and harassment, which can harm emotional stability. Especially dangerous may be the fact that there is a possibility that fraudsters can take advantage of information illiteracy (Livingstone, 2019). All this will lead later to the leakage of personal data, which can significantly affect the family.
Today’s computerization of the society is closely reflected in the field of entertainment. Thanks to incredible technologies, computer games already have a sufficient level of creating the effect of presence in an adult, not to mention children (Livingstone, 2017). All this affects the child’s desire to purchase this or that thing in the game, which will help them stand out among others. Computer games are developing quite rapidly, which leads to an increase in the money invested in this industry (Livingstone, 2017). Game items are becoming more expensive, and therefore, a child’s computer addiction can lead to an unreasonable waste of funds.
Faster and More Accurate Decisions
It is often argued that, esports games involve the so-called quick thinking – the ability to make the right decisions in a short period of time. In the long run, a child playing competitive video games makes the right decisions faster than others and finds a way out of an emergency situation (Halbrook et al., 2019). A child interested in eSports disciplines reacts faster than his peers from a purely mechanical point of view (Halbrook et al., 2019). The reaction will become the basis for success in boxing, football, and even professional activity in the future. However, this argument does not consider that esports athletes are also often exposed to health problems, especially those related to vision. In addition, traditional sports are also suitable for the development of such skills.
Games Increase Gray Matter
Many people are of the opinion that the gray matter in our brain is part of the central nervous system and, in fact, controls all brain functions. Hypothetically, improved communication in the region should contribute to improving thought processes and increasing general intelligence (Brilliant, 2019). People who actively played video games in childhood have improved cognitive abilities. This is due to the ability to focus on hand and eye movement, swallowing, stomach motility, and speech articulation. This view seems convincing at first, but brain function is improved only by certain types of games, often associated with strategies. Consequently, it is also possible to turn to more health-friendly games like chess or puzzles.
In conclusion, it should be noted that video games certainly have their positive sides, which can properly help a child. However, it is necessary to consider many factors that put children at risk. To do this, it is necessary to properly pay attention to the time spent at the computer, which may affect vision or socially unacceptable behavior. The child and parents should be aware of the negative aspects of video games, leading to undesirable consequences. Therefore, an important aspect is the competent upbringing of a child in the field of information technology and its benefits and harms.
Brilliant, T. (2019). Does video gaming have impacts on the brain: Evidence from a systematic review. Brain Sciences, 9, 251. Web.
Coyne, S. M., Warburton, W. A., Essig, L. W., & Stockdale, L. A. (2018). Violent video games, externalizing behavior, and prosocial behavior: A five-year longitudinal study during adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 54(10), 1868–1880. Web.
Halbrook, Y. J., O’Donnell, A. T., & Msetfi, R. M. (2019). When and how video games can be good: a review of the positive effects of video games on well-being. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14(6), 1096–1104. Web.
Lanca, C. (2020). The association between digital screen time and myopia: A systematic review. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 40, 216–229. Web.
Livingstone, S. (2017). Maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks for children online: The role of digital skills in emerging strategies of parental mediation. Journal of Communication, 67(1), 82–105. Web.
Livingstone, S. (2019). Children’s data and privacy online: Growing up in a digital age: An evidence review. London School of Economics and Political Science.
Zhu, R. (2020). Screen time and sleep disorder in preschool children: Identifying the safe threshold in a digital world. Public Health, 186, 204–210. Web.