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To the ‘World’ away from the World!

Electronics have evolved greatly over the past. Improvements in hardware, as well as software, have changed the view of technology in the eyes of our population. Consoles like Atari and Nintendo have always belonged to the ‘cool kids’ of the 90’s and made their childhood as fun filled and excited as you might imagine. Today consoles have revolutionized and introduced ‘GAMING’ to the common man, along with the advancements in computers.

Gaming and teenagers now go hand-in-hand, and it has many positive effects on children. Yes, don’t be shocked! According to the researchers in the American Psychological Association, video gaming can enhance multiple cognitive skills, for example, better allocation of attention, visual processing, memory, reasoning and perception. Increased hand-eye-coordination is seen in children who play video games, especially from shooter games. Some of them require great skills to be successful. As players, they need to be aware of the enemy positions, their aim and speed. The brain needs to process all this information to perform the respective actions on the keyboard/mouse combo or the game controller.

Video games also improve abilities like ‘Quick thinking’ skills. The action in video games prepares gamers to make smart and fast decisions in split seconds. Also, they need acute attention to cope up with unexpected changes in the games. Moreover, researchers suggest that playing strategic games can develop problem solving skills in teenagers and children.

But… But… But… all pros come with their respective cons, so also video gaming. The most observed trait in teenagers is an addiction to gaming and it has been widely discussed in the medical circles and is classified as a formal disorder. Gamers are also most likely to develop anxiety, insomnia, social isolation and depression and make the child more drawn and absorbed with the virtual world of gaming than social interactions with the outside world. This addiction, in turn, might decrease the academic performance of teenagers. A survey conducted shows that 47% of heavy gamers got poor grades, while 23% of moderate gamers show better performance than others.

Video games can definitely induce improvements and developments in teens but the negative effects also pop in. Video games are not harmful or bad as all parents observe if played within limits. It is a parent’s responsibility to monitor what types of games their children play, regulate for how much time their children play games and the improvements will show in.