Monday, April 12, 2010

New Study: Negative Short Term Video Game Effect on Children

Video games have negative effect, says study
New study out last month about the short term effects of video games on children's writing, reading and learning skills.

The study examined a group of 6-9 year-olds both before, and then 4-months after, receiving a video game device and three age appropriate games.

According to the author of which appeared in a journal of the Association for Psychological Science,

"boys who received the video-game system at the beginning of the study had significantly lower reading and writing scores four months later compared with the boys [who did not]. Although there were no differences in parent-reported behavioral problems between the two groups of kids, the boys who received the video-game system immediately had greater teacher-reported learning problems."

There are lots of studies out there right now about gaming and many deliver conflicting messages.

Some point out the physical problems associated with kids sitting for hours and the effects of on children.

Other studies indicate that gaming with which kids process information, can help kids to be , and that 'active' video games can even be an for kids.

I absolutely loved asteroids and space invaders growing up.  I hate the thought of denying my children the pleasure of spending hours interacting with a lifeless, cold, intelligence sucking machine that may eventually become their best friend (as it did for me :..(  

I've encouraged J to play some Sesame Street related games through the public television web site.  I am proud to report that she's become dexterous with the mouse and is able to do some fundamental navigation.  

With that said, we've not faced the true decision point yet in the sillyDaddy household (i.e. to buy a gaming console or not).  I expect that we will most likely bring one into the house and roll with a policy of age-appropriate games played in moderation.  Perhaps we'll provide our kids with a choice during their alloted TV time: (i.e. during the next 1/2 hour you may either watch a show or play a video game).  That way they don't log any extra screen time and they end up feeling like they had a choice.

Parenting: ain't it fun!


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