As our understanding increases with more and more research being conducted by professionals from neurosciences to psychology, we are starting to realise the implications of video games on children. As of now, we know that this issue is not entirely black and white. For example, violence portrayed in video games have a completely different effect on children than watching a violent movie, as Dr. Przybylski of Oxford University has shown in his meta-analytical study published on August 4, 2014.
Dr. Przybylski has conducted 64 different studies regarding electronic gaming, and his studies beg an open mind to fully understand the effects and repercussions of video games. In one research Dr. Przybylski suggests that video games incite creative thinking, nurturing their meta-cognitive skills. This is the ability to evaluate and reflect on your own thinking patterns, thus engaging deeper thought in the players. However, this is only possible if certain factors are met while playing games.
1. Firstly, the games have to have some sort of creative element to it. This would require the player to think, then reflect about their decision and see their choice play out. If a choice in the game does not meet the objectives, the player would think about his mistake and form a different strategy. According to the study, different players have different thought patterns, and the time taken to complete an object depends upon their way of thinking
2. Secondly, the time frame for which a child played video games also has an effect on the overall behaviour and personality. Playing video games for 1-3 hours daily showed greater levels of problem handling capabilities, prosocial behaviour and life satisfaction than children who did not play many games of any kind at all. This indicates that playing video games is like any other play activity. However, playing video games longer than 3 hours a day had a negative effect on the children, showing irritated and moody behaviour; common characteristics visible in gambling addicts.
When the type and duration of playing video games are optimised, the activity showed a progressive and positive change in the personality of the children taking part in the study. This change visibly affected their academic performance positively. Dr. Ferguson, a media researcher from Stetson University, concurs with Dr. Przybylski’s findings and suggests that there is too much research into the amount of violence in video games rather than the effects of video games on people.