Study shows moderate gaming can be of benefit to children

Children Playing Video Games

Research finds children and adolescents who play games for less than an hour after school each day are "better adjusted".

The study was carried out by Oxford University researcher Dr. Andrew Przybylski and collated surveys from 5,000 young people aged 10-15 years old, three quarters of whom admitted to playing video games every day.

Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment measured how well children got on with others, how likely they were to help people in trouble and their general satisfaction with their own lives. The survey found kids that played for less than an hour a day were most likely to state satisfaction and suffered least from hyperactivity and ‘emotional issues’.

“Low engagement was associated with higher life satisfaction and prosocial behavior and lower externalizing and internalizing problems, whereas the opposite was found for high levels of play. No effects were observed for moderate play levels when compared with non-players.” the survey results sate.

Speaking to the BBC about the study, Przybylski said, "In a research environment that is often polarised between those who believe games have an extremely beneficial role and those who link them to violent acts, this research could provide a new, more nuanced standpoint.

“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."

It is Dr. Przybylski’’s belief that such evidence should be taken into account by those that impose policies and guidelines on gaming.

Other recent studies into the effects of gaming have suggested that playing can increase brain size and affect real-life behaviours.

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