Light Video Game Play May Help Kids Live Better, Happier Lives
Recently, parents have been told more and more to limit their children's screen time. And video games—one of the biggest reasons kids spend time in front of media screens—often get blamed for what seems to be a more violent society. However, a new study has found that small amounts of video game play can actually be good for kids, helping them to become more well-adjusted.
Being engaged in video games may give children a common language.
The Oxford University study surveyed 5,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 15. They were asked how much they played video games, and then rated factors like how satisfied they were with their lives, how well they got along with other kids, how likely they were to help those in need, and their levels of hyperactivity and inattention.
It turned out that the children who reported spending less than an hour a day playing video games claimed to be more satisfied with their lives and had the most positive social interactions. Children who said they played more than three hours of video games a day were the least well-adjusted among the participants.
According to Dr. Andrew Przybylski, an experimental psychologist who analyzed the data for the study, “Being engaged in video games may give children a common language. And for someone who is not part of this conversation, this might end up cutting the young person off.”
That, he feels, could be one reason among many why some video game play—but not too much—can be good for a child’s overall well-being.