Video Games Are Good for You

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Are Video Games Bad for Kids?

September 18, 2011

Many media sources claim the harsh affects of video games; however, there is a great deal written about the good effects. Steven Johnson, an author, best known for his best-selling book Everything Bad Is Good for You: How today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter (2005), defends the value of computer games and other popular “time-wasting” pastimes. In his essay Why games are Good for You, he discusses the conventional wisdom that kids today would be better off spending more time reading and less time zoning out on video games. Many media sources claim the harsh affects of video games; however, there is a great deal written about the good effects. Of the many different opinions on this subject it’s interesting to determine what the good effects of gaming for kids are, why video games are interesting for learning, and what social skills can they gain from gaming. First, let’s discuss the good effects of gaming. Video and computer games, like many popular, entertaining and addicting kid activities, are looked down upon by the media and many parents as time-wasters, and worse, parents think that these games rot the brain. Also, violent video games are readily blamed by the media and some experts as the reason why some youth become violent or commit extreme anti-social actions. But research is finding that video games actually have many benefits – the main one being making kids smart. Video games give your child’s brain a real workout. In many video games, the skills required to win involve abstract and high level thinking. According to Johnson, some of the mental skills trained by video games include following instructions, problem solving and logic, hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills. In shooting games, the character may be running and shooting at the same time. This requires the real-world player to keep track of the position of the character, where...
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