Video games have been considered to be a tool of corruption for children, that children who video game are considered to be violent, more prone to fights, live in isolation, and are often gang-affiliated. Not all agree with these assumptions, but some seem to assume so. In the case of suicide bombings and school shootings by individuals who have been loners (and in some cases, video gamers), it seems that video games are always linked to violence and danger.
A new Oxford University study says, however, that children ages 10 to 15 who play video games for an hour a day are happier, more well-adjusted, and more socially outgoing than children of the same age group that do not engage in video games. This was discovered to be the case, whether the child was playing computer games or gaming by way of a game console (or mobile gadget). The study tested 5,000 children and teenagers from the United Kingdom.
While children who play video games for one hour a day can become more well-adjusted with their peers than those who do not, one cannot take this conclusion by itself. After all, the same study that shows well-adjustment for one-hour video games and play also shows that children who play video games three or four hours a day are not as well-adjusted as their peers who play one hour. According to Oxford University researchers who conducted the study, it seems to be the case that when children play video games for three or four hours, they are neglecting other tasks that would also make them well-adjusted, social interaction, reading, their studies, among other things.
Study author Dr. Andrew Przybylski says that these results cannot be taken to mean that video games, in and of themselves, are the key to a child’s social development. “The small, positive effects we observed for low levels of play on electronic games do not support the idea that video games on their own can help children develop in an increasingly digital world.”
And expected, there are other factors that help children become well-adjusted and well-developed, such as a strong family unit, necessities, family affection and love, and communication with their family and friends. Video games are certainly one way to fit in, but it is not the only way. And, while the study did not point to this, there are children in the world who do not play video games and are just as happy as many who do.
The study was published in the Pediatrics journal today.