Published:  12:00 AM, 30 December 2016

Video games and teenagers

Do you have a die-hard video game fan at home? Are you noticing changes in his behavior of late? Is his school performance going down because of his video game addiction? Well, if you relate to any of these situations, then you must give our post on how video games affect teenagers a read.  If you are a mother, chances are that you have a teenager who is a die-hard fan of video games. It is a great source of recreation for teens. Although these games have been around for decades, today's sophisticated games require the players to play close attention. Teens engage on a deeper level while playing, both emotionally and physically. So is playing video games good or bad for your teen? In a way, it is both good and bad. Read on to know the positive and negative effects of violent video games on children and teenagers.

POSITIVE EFFECTS

It improves the cognitive functions: According to research conducted by C. Shawn Green, the psychologist of the University of Wisconsin, video games can benefit the teen's cognitive functions. It changes the brain structure exactly the same way while playing the piano, navigating the map and learning to read. The combination of concentration and the surges of neurotransmitters strengthen the neural circuits that build the brain.

Quick thinking and accuracy: The action in video games prepares the gamers to make quick decisions. It trains the brain to make fast decisions without losing accuracy. A study has also shown that video games can train surgeons and soldiers. Improve your child's decision making skills: Gaming will improve your child's decision-making skills. The study has found that teens that play video games made decisions 25% faster without affecting accuracy. Teens adept in gaming can make choices and act upon them six times a second, this is four times faster than normal.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS

Increases aggressive behavior: Video games with violent content can lead to aggressive behavior in teens. It can also desensitize them to violence. Studies have shown that teens who like playing first-person shooter style games are likely to adopt a detached view of the society. They also develop aggressive thoughts and tendencies.
Social isolation: Another negative effect of the video game is that teens are spending too much time playing games than playing outdoors. Video games are making teens socially isolated. Teenagers who play too much video games are also less likely to indulge in extracurricular activities like reading, writing and participating in sports.  Teaches wrong values: Besides violent behavior, the video game also teaches teens wrong values. Video games portray women as weaker characters. They depict women as helpless and sexually provocative personalities. Teens also pick up bad language and behavior while playing with other people online.

Poor academic performance: This is one of the serious effects of video games on teens. Playing long hours of video games can affect your teen's performance in school. If your teen spends more than two hours gaming, then he may have trouble falling asleep and paying attention in school. Video game addicts also skip their homework to play games, leading to a downfall in their grades. Discuss with your teen the kind of games he likes playing. Ask him what he observes and how he feels while playing these video games. It will make a great opportunity to share your feelings with your child and get closer to him.

The writer is a freelance contributor at  www.momjunction.com

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