The benefits of video games to children far outweigh the costs, especially due to rapid advancements in video games technologies. Video games help make learning materials more engaging and effective. Similarly, they also provide the incentives to children to spend more time with friends and families and improve children’s social life.
But like any technology, video games have also their fair share of critics. One of the criticisms against video games is that they are addictive and result in loss of valuable time resources. The other criticism is that video games often have inappropriate content not suited to children yet children gain access to such video games and this negatively affects their development and growth in the long term.
Video games may have the potential to be addictive but so have many other revolutionary technologies such as the internet, audio and video entertainment including music and movies. The key to dealing with such issues is not avoiding the technology but to carefully tackle the problem. The parents could work with children to set a time table specifying when they may or may not play video games. Just like internet, video games offer several benefits, thus, banning them does more harm than good. It is also true that video games sometimes have inappropriate content but anyone who buys video games is aware of the fact that video games are subjected to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) content ratings. It is the job of the parents, retail outlets and other stakeholders to ensure that children do not have access to age-inappropriate games in the same manner we limit children’s access to movies and music with adult content.
Video games have the potential to be misused but video games are not unique in this regard. Even the most revolutionary technologies such as the internet and cell phones etc. can be misused. The solution is not to ban video games but to take measures that promote responsible use of video games and minimize access to age-inappropriate content. Video games offer tremendous potential for health growth and development of children and have overall positive impact on the society.