New study by the American Psychological Association finds that playing video games, even violent shooters, has social, psychological, learning and health benefits.
Every time something bad happens in the U.S., the first thing many people want to do is blame video games, particularly violent ones. And every time that happens, gamers’ heads explode because the people doing the claiming have absolutely no scientific basis for making such assumptions. In fact, science has proven time and again that video games are not responsible for such things and can actually be good for us.
Well, now, yet another study has been released, this time by the American Psychological Association. And their findings once more prove that playing video games, including those violent ones everyone gets all up in arms about, are beneficial, not just to adults, but to children.
Although non-gamers like to classify gamers as lazy, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Playing games strengthens cognitive skills (in other words, the brain gets smarter). This is even more true for violent shooting games, this new study finds. In regards to violent shooters, Isabela Granic, PhD,, lead author of the study said, “This has critical implications for education and career development, as previous research has established the power of spatial skills for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Roleplaying games, on the other hand, improve problem-solving skills. In fact, when kids played these games, their grades improved over the course of a year. These kids also saw a boost in creativity. Even casual games, however, have a positive effect. Games like Angry Birds can improve moods, promote relaxation and help players fight anxiety. Basically, playing video games makes people happier.
Finally, the study looks at the stereotype of the isolated gamer, that loner living in their parents’ basement. Believe it or not, more than 70 percent of gamers, though, play with friends and other people online. Games are far more social than people realize and help children develop social skills, especially in working with communities towards a greater goal. Even violent multiplayer games can encourage social interaction and skills that kids need to become better adults.
So there you have it. Video games, particularly violent ones, are good for you and even good for your children.