Over the past decades, we have witnessed an incredible avalanche of changes in technology. Outraged, more and more teenagers or children are asking for a new smartphone or the latest video game console as a gift of the market.
We are immersed in the technological age and, therefore, it is important to know all the information necessary to deal with the difficulties that may arise in the face of this fact, as well as the concerns that arise from the role of parents.
Therefore, in the face of alarm voices that rise from time to time that video games encourage violent behavior in children, one has to ask … Do video games have a harmful influence on children?
Is it so bad to play video games?
Certainly, one of the most prevalent phenomena in recent years in the world of entertainment for children and young people has been that of FORTNITE. For those of you here who haven’t heard of it (of which there are probably few of you), this is a video game in which the user-player controls the survivors of a full world. of zombies. Users must cooperate with other humans to protect their strongholds from the undead trying to control the earth. In some versions of the game, players can clash and kill other humans.
Its main success lies in the simplicity of the game, its dynamics and the intensity with which it is played. Also, being able to play online with other players adds an extra factor and that is that kids can not only have fun playing but also play at home with their friends without them having to be there.
Video games can bring many positive aspects, because they are training, retention of certain knowledge and development of motor skills; while it is true that the type of game influences the positive it can bring.
There are many games on the market that enhance the development of higher cognitive skills, Such as: Tetris, Big Brain Academy, World of goo and The Witness. Some games also require effective strategies and the development of reflexes. However, not only the type of content displayed is important, but also the hours spent on this type of leisure, as those hours spent are staggered hours that could be spent on other healthier or more productive activities (school tasks, reading. , sports, etc.).
The habit of violence
It is important to know that even in some types of violent video games, something positive can be extracted, such as strategic skills and learning a new language (when the game language is different. Native), although continuous viewing of violent content is associated with increased habituation to violence. In other words, people who are used to seeing this type of content eventually get used to it until they end up normalizing it more than usual.
Does this mean that if my son or daughter plays violent video games they will end up engaging in violent behavior? Not necessarily. If it is true that seeing violence repeatedly accustoms us not to have so much rejection of it, does not mean that in order to play this type of video game, the person will suddenly develop psychopathological and violent behavior. For this to happen, more factors need to be taken into account, both biological and environmental.
However, if there is a higher risk of “accepting” such behaviors as “acceptable”. We could therefore say that it is a risk factor, but it is not sufficient in itself.
There is still a lot of controversy over whether viewing violent content in video games is linked to the subsequent development of aggressive behavior, although what seems clear is that the content we are exposed to affects to a greater or lesser extent. measure our perceptions, our thoughts. , opinions and attitudes.
So it seems clear that if there is no clear or causal relationship, the content of the video game has an influence on the users who consume it. This is not the cause of the subsequent development of violent behaviorBut for this, it would be necessary to take into account many factors, both biological and social and family.
The most important thing is that we control the hours that children and adolescents spend on this type of game., Try to become an “extra” after performing the tasks or other obligatory activities and not neglect other leisure activities that do not include a sedentary lifestyle and social isolation, as well as to avoid video game addiction.
Using video game consoles or electronic devices can be positive, as long as we are also in control of their content or are aware of any changes in our children’s behavior that may warn us that something is wrong; in this case, it is better to contact a psychologist. From the psychologists of Mariva, we will be happy to assess the situation and, if necessary, intervene for its improvement and solution.
- Feliu, J., Gil, A. and Bona, I. (2005). The relationship between video games and aggression: a complex controversy of questionable resolution. Electronic Arts Spanish “Learn & Play with EA” website.