Pros and Cons of Video Games


video gamesMany parents today obsess over their children’s video game preoccupation and continually question whether it’s doing more harm than good. We dislike leaving for work or a day out while our kids are home sitting on the couch playing and communicating with their friends through microphones and headsets. Although it’s not exactly antisocial, they are still not speaking face to face or doing anything we consider constructive.

The latest video game to capture kids’ minds is Fortnite, played by around 40 million people throughout the world. This and others have taken on great importance for our kids. They share their stories and refuse to move an inch until they finish each round.

There are two sides to gaming. Solitary gaming can lead to video game addiction. The violence in
many popular games is also troubling. On the other hand, these games can improve concentration and hand-to-eye coordination. They can boost memory, multi-tasking, and even self-confidence. Processing an array of visual and auditory cues and making split-second decisions can actually increase a child’s brain speed. Many schools even implement certain games to increase learning and problem-solving skills. And children with little athletic interest can learn to compete and make friends with other gamers.

Parents can perhaps find a happy middle ground by limiting their kids’ gaming sessions to an hour or 90 minutes per day. If you force them to leave in the middle of a match, you may still encounter their frustration since they may have to leave fellow teammates hanging and lose precious points earned up to that time.

Video games are clearly here to stay. If your kids are already hooked, suggest they self-monitor their online time for a week to see how much time it actually takes up. Perhaps you can wean them away slowly by suggesting specific long-term projects and captivating activities involving family and friends, such as hiking or building something tangible. It usually helps to use respect and cooperation to cope with this situation. And rest assured, this too is likely a passing phase they’ll eventually outgrow.


by Lori Berezin