A new study has shown that videogames have no adverse effects on the academic performance of kids. The research, done by the Michigan State University, reveals that video games do not affect children’s math skills and may have a positive effect on visual-spatial skills.
The study monitored the academic performance of students from 20 middle schools in Michigan. The researchers compared the usage of online and offline video games that the students played in correlation to their academic performance. It found that the videogames helped the kids learn visually by reacting and thinking in terms of images. The children were able to develop key skills that would come in handy in various fields such as engineering, technology and science.
Parents may have encountered the good and bad side of videogames. Many parents who allow their children to play educational videogames from a young age have known their kids to be more responsive to them than while simply watching television. For example, videogames are known to increase children’s reaction times in response to stimuli.
Another advantage for many parents is that videogames can be used to introduce children to computers, thereby giving kids a head start for the future.
On the flipside, there are disadvantages to videogames too. Children who play age-inappropriate games may have a bad experience and react negatively to them. Some studies have also demonstrated that first-person-shooter (FPS) and other similar games may increase childrens’ aggression levels and desensitize them to violence.