Does Playing Video Games Cause Behavioral Problems?

The argument about whether video games perpetuate behavioral problems has been an ongoing debate for the longest time. Many, especially parents, believe that exposure to different video games correlates with adverse social, emotional, and academic effects.


Thus, parents and guardians who want to look after the safety of their kids remain uncertain about whether to give access or allow their children to play video games.

Video Games And Violence

The recent mass shootings in the US had prompted President Donald Trump to say that video games are one of the factors that drive people to do such a heinous act. For many politicians, video games have been the scapegoat for people who glorify violence. Even with this accusation, there has been no substantial evidence that supports this idea.

“Acknowledging our own capacity for violence—toward ourselves and others—is the beginning of change for all.” –Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT

The Oxford Internet Institute researchers have conducted a study that invalidates what most politicians say about video games. Their research has found no correlation between aggressive behavior from teenagers and the amount of time and attention spent playing video games.

Professor Andrew Przybylski, lead researcher, and director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute said, “The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time.”

Moreover, Royal Society Open Science, an open journal that publishes high-quality original research, released this study. At the same time, this study is one of the most comprehensive studies that involve video games.

Tips In Monitoring Your Kid’s Exposure To Video Games

There is no doubt that technology can help our kids get more involved or connected with their friends. They can also be more informed, and it provides a vast option for entertainment. Most parents are aware of all the risks, but they also want their children to benefit from the experience. “This study suggests that, depending on the situation, people with different levels of violent media and game consumption can also have different perceptions of the environment.” Cognitive psychologist Dr Steve Most explains.

Following these simple tips can help parents avoid risks.

1. Monitor or play with your children.

Being hands-on with monitoring your kid’s video game experience is the best tip we can give. Besides, there is nothing more crucial than the involvement of parents in their kids’ hobbies.


2. Inspect the game’s rating.

Be aware of the age and content rating details. Most games provide general guidance about age suitability and the themes, language, violence, and sexual content involved. Being aware of the description and elements of your children’s favorite game is essential.

3. Keep a log.

Keeping a log of how frequent your child plays video games can help both parties. Logging their gaming sessions can give you the idea if it’s time to limit or cut down their exposure from playing.

4. Arrange family activities.

Most of the time, children play video games because they feel bored. You can help prevent this by organizing activities with your family or your children’s friends.

Managing your children’s gaming involves getting informed, being involved, and making the appropriate decisions. Video games can be great for them. It can help our children be more imaginative and creative. Everything, including video games, can be fun if done in moderation. “limit screen time for younger teens; show interest in them, their ideas, opinions, dreams; engage teens in conversations about choices, relationships, and future plans; and provide opportunities for them to explore their own point of view through conversation without judgment.” A reminder from Sandi Lindgren PCC, LICSW.

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