Is gaming healthy for Kids?
It depends on how we collectively define ‘health.’ Dr. Przybylski’s study uses a widely accepted SDQ (strength and difficulty questionnaire) method of measuring “internalizing and externalizing problems,” “prosocial behavior,” and “life satisfaction.” He found that in some cases, gaming is beneficial. “Compared with non-players, children who typically invest less than one-third of their daily free time showed higher levels of prosocial behavior and life satisfaction and lower levels of conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, and emotional symptoms.”
So, should we allow kids to just play video games or we need them to get out and be more active on ground, more collaborative with friends when playing soccer, or any other game. Is virtual collaboration good for kids or should we let them collaborate in real world?
I think "A lot of Gaming" is not good. Video games can turn into an addiction if not controlled. I also think, we need to closely what type of content these games offer. Sometimes - a lot of violence or fight, that is certainly not good if played for a long time.
I always believe in old school theory of playing on sports-ground. That teaches you team spirit, sense of loosing a game, winning it back and above all - confidence.
The question exists since the 1980s, when Atari gave families the opportunity to play arcade games at home. Studies conclude that play up to 1 hour a day foster the children's social skills, including reflexes, etc. More than this it harms social skills. So as all other games, it is good, if it does not get too much.
I have three children - 9, 6, 2. The 6-year old is most interested in video games. He is only allowed to watch YouTube or play video games after he has completed his piano practice 6 days a week. This stipulation makes it a little hard for him to be able to play with friends because of my restrictions, but he and friends do play at least once a week. My two-year old likes to cheer my six year old on. I guess I could see the team sport aspect in this way. My 9 year old is less interested but will play once in a while. My kids got the Nintendo Switch for Christmas from their Grandmother. I really didn't want it, but will admit it was a God-send on multiple blizzard days. My husband has been playing video games forever and recently he and his childhood friends began planning a Dungeons and Dragons night. They all live in different places, so it was a nice reunion without all the gossip.
Gaming has evolved since the initial home consoles in the 80's. The most popular games are online multi-player with advanced strategy and teamworking as core concepts. We purchased an XBox system for our 11 year old as a way for him to connect with his schoolmates after studies and over the summer when schedules or weather prevent in person meetings.
That said we do closely monitor and restrict the amount of time he is able to use any screen for the day. Too much of any one thing can become negative. The benefits of social connections and problem solving online can quickly be erased by unchecked friend requests, negative or abusive players and harassing behavior from other online players. As parents it is our responsibility to stay informed, aware and involved.
In my opinion, any MD or PhD would advise that online games, in moderation and under parental guidance, can indeed be a healthy addition to a child's life experiences.