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Games For Kids To Play: Do Video Games Alter Your Child's Behavior?

Jun 11, 2008
The growing number of teens and adults spend their free time playing video and online games. Actually the average age of a game player is 33 years old and the average game buyer is 40 years old.

Research shows that children are spending increasing amounts of time playing video games - 13 hours per week for boys, on average, and 5 hours per week for girls.

Some researchers, psychologists and doctors believe that "addiction" to video games may not be healthy and actually may disturb your child and produce some inadequate behavior or even worse violence and aggressiveness. Every few months there seems to be yet another story from some of professionally acclaimed adult about how video games should be blamed by raising issues with kids and teens.

But when you look very close to the results of their research you don't really see this connection, because no real evidences were produced to proof this point of view, just assumptions and theories. It makes sense that a child may become more emotional and sensitive towards the game characters and most of the studies make it their key point in proving the connection between video games and kids behavior in real life.

A child may stay emotional right after he or she puts away his/her Nintendo DS. It may become difficult to make the child to go to his/her bed or switch the child to homework activities for some period of time after playing an action game, but where is a proof that the game-related "aggressiveness" actually translates back towards people and the game related emotions actually transform a child's personality?

Interestingly, when crime is committed by a child, and if by coincidence the child played violent video games, lawyers are trying to take the blame and responsibility off of the kid who actually committed the crime and put it on the video game producers. If it were true that video games were convincing people to go out and commit actual crimes, it would be hard to explain why kid's crime dropped since Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D were released.

Since Doom was released in 1993; violent crimes in the United States dropped by 60%. Is it a coincidence? Maybe yes, however, when Quake and Duke Nukem 3D were released in 1996 violent crimes fell by 4%. When Grand Theft Auto was released the violent crimes fell by 2% further.

So it still remains questionable whether or not action games affect child's behavior. What makes sense is that we, as parents, should select age appropriate games for kids to play, enforce ground rules, get involved and play with our children, observe our children's behavior since every kid is unique and can have a totally different reaction to the same game.
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