Top 23 Pros and Cons of Video Games for Your Child

Video games, played on electronic devices like mobile phones, TVs, and computers, became popular around the 1970s and have become a part of every child’s life. Since then, everybody has been discussing the pros and cons of video games.

Ralph H. Baer, the father of video games, started the journey in 1967 when he launched the first multiplayer, multi-program video game console, ‘The Brown Box.’ Many companies have followed him in the video game business and created famous good and bad games. Here is an interesting infographic about video game console history.

Many of you must have seen children from different age groups sticking to the screen of mobile phones or TV, playing games for long hours instead of going out or completing their homework.

When their parents ask them to go out to play or complete their homework, they only ask for a few more minutes of playing, which turns into hours. It can be devastating for any parent to see their child spending so much time in front of the screen when all they hear is these activities are unhealthy for their growth.

But are video games bad for you, or are there any positive effects of video games? Like everything else, video games have two aspects: good and bad. We will examine both opinions, i.e., the pros and cons of video games.

Pros and cons of video games
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Reasons Video Games are Good for You

The age of video games started with a simple game. Still, we now have different types of video games available on the market, which are even more complicated and sometimes violent. Some of them are good, while others are just bad games.

Parents find video games a bad way to waste time in front of computers and TV screens. Some experts have found that video games damage the brain. Research shows that certain video games can improve eye-hand coordination and increase mental agility.

Some psychologists and scientists commonly believe that video games are good for you. One reason is that they make children intelligent. Video games enhance children’s thinking, which they can use in the future. As we discussed, today’s games are more complex.

They include using different buttons on the controller, allowing kids to think quickly and respond to their reflexes. It will enable kids to connect what they see and how they respond using their fingers.

Video games have many benefits, including psychological, physiological, and academic. This section will explain why video games are good for you.

Positive Effects of Video Games on Psychology

Researchers have studied why video games are good for you and their impact on children’s minds. The answers to this question include learning team spirit, planning, memory, and many more skills.

1. Resource Management and Planning

Video games can help players manage restricted resources and let them decide the most effective way to use them. They can apply the same method in the real world, as well. The American Planning Association (the trade association of urban planners) and Maxis (the sports creator) have claimed that SimCity encourages its players to create urban planning and architecture careers.

2. Hand-Eye Coordination, Fine Motor, and Abstraction Skills

Analysis has shown that teens can learn abstraction, visual, and hand-eye coordination skills from video games, mainly from shooter games. Some games need an excellent deal of those skills to achieve success.

For example, players should keep track of positions, speed, aim, directions, etc. In doing this, the brain acknowledges every situation and acts while coordinating with the hands using a keyboard or game controller.

3. Improve Moods

Angry Birds is a video game that brings instant happiness and improves moods. It also teaches the child that failures are a part of the game and life.

4. Improves Psychological Feature Functions

Our brain creates new neural pathways and transmitters and develops a specific structure when we use the same skill numerous times.

When the child focuses on something intensely, the brain is more responsive, which may help analyze real-life problems.

Positive Effects of Video Games on Academics

5. Multitasking and Managing Multiple Objectives

Some video games need children to manage multiple operations at an instant. It improves multitasking skills in children.

In city-building games, the children will use their creative skills to build their city where an unexpected enemy can emerge, surprisingly. It will force the player to be resourceful and learn to act quickly.

6. Problem Solving

Incredible Machine, Angry Birds, or Cut the Rope are video games that train children to find alternative ways of solving problems quickly. Researchers suggest that video games help develop problem-solving skills.

A child’s mind becomes more active when solving a problem while enjoying it simultaneously.

Positive effects of video games
Photo credit: Depositphotos

7. Remotes Advanced Intelligence

Youngsters or teens who have played video games that involve more puzzle-solving activities tend to be more intelligent and have more active minds than others from the same age group.

These kids have sharp memories, an above-average IQ, and a better approach to small details, which helps them perform better in their studies.

Positive Effects of Video Games on Physical Health

8. Physical Exercise

Motion-controlled games, such as the Nintendo Wii, were once thought to be the solution to parental issues related to video games, which resulted in obesity. However, studies have shown that these video games alone don’t increase kids’ overall activity levels.

There’s some hope with games that encourage youngsters to leave the house. Pokémon Go is one such example. Youngsters can also prefer real-life treasure-hunting activities like Geocaching. Fitness apps, like Walk, combine storytelling and exercise to induce players to move.

Positive Effect of Video Games on Skills

9. Job Skills

The FAS, or Federation of American Scientists, claims youngsters should be encouraged to play more video games. This will help them perform better in the current competitive job market. In a 2010 report, the FAS claimed that video games help children learn higher-order thinking skills like drawback resolution, interpretative analysis, etc.

10. Simulation, Actual World skills

Many video games, such as flight simulation, give players the real experience of flying an aircraft. It lets the player take off the flight, land the plane, and operate all the controls, such as adjusting speed, wing angles, altimeter, etc. While playing these video games, the players feel like they are flying aircraft for real.

11. Operating Along as a Team

The types of video games involving two or more players encourage your kid to learn teamwork. The child learns to listen to his teammates, make decisions with the group’s approval, respect others’ opinions, and distribute tasks supported with skills. Some online games even involve international players, introducing your child to various nationalities and cultures.

Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C. M. E. Engels published a research paper from Radboud University Nijmegen in late 2013. You must read it to learn what they researched about video games.

As we are discussing the pros and cons of video games, the next part of this article discusses the cons of video games.

Why Are Video Games Bad for You?

Video games are very popular among children of all age groups. We have discussed the pros of video games and know how they positively impact children, but we also know that an excess of anything is harmful. Therefore, it’s time to explore the cons of video games. Hereunder, we are going to discuss the negative effects of video games.

Video game enthusiasts spend about 3 billion hours per week in front of their TV and computer screens. Due to the increasing abuse of video games, youngsters are suffering from some significant issues.

Negative effects of video games
For this image, thanks to Depositphotos.

Negative Effects of Video Games on Psychology

1. Video Game Addiction

The World Health Organization in 2018 declared the addiction to playing a video game as a gaming disorder, which is a kind of psychological state disorder. A study by the National Institute on Media and the Family suggests that video games are addictive for youths, and this addiction will increase their depression and anxiety levels. Warning signs for video game addiction include:

    • Playing to extend the amount of time
    • Thinking of games while doing other activities
    • Playing to flee from real-life issues, anxiety, or depression
    • Lying to friends or family and playing video games secretly
    • Feeling irritable if asked to stop playing a video game

2. Encourage Violence and Becoming Aggressive

Many scholars from the American Psychological Association (or APA), given the game’s violent nature, claimed that there’s a ‘consistent correlation’ between violent video games and aggression.

They said that these types of video games impact children emotionally even when the game is over, making them commit a crime at a young age. The bad games encourage and reward players for showing violence in the game. The player experiences acts of violence, such as killings, kicking, stabbing, and shooting, in the game.

These types of video games can make children insensitive towards these acts. It can encourage the child to show aggressive behavior in real life and do criminal violence as well.

3. Approaching to Isolation

Taking part in an excessive amount of video games makes youngsters socially isolated. They lose interest in alternative activities like reading, learning, doing homework, and interacting with family and friends.

4. Lying About Playing

If you scold or stop them from playing video games, they’ll seek other ways. They will lie to you and start hiding when they want to play games without your knowledge or approval. They may also make excuses to let them play video games only for a few more minutes.

Negative Effects of Video Games on Academics

5. Performance in Academics

Poor academic performance is one of the significant side effects of video games in children. A 2010 study conducted by Rideout, Foehr, and Roberts on American children addicted to video games showed that approximately 47% of heavy video gamers got a lower academic GPA (Grade Point Average). In contrast, 23% of children who spend comparatively less time on games perform better in studies.

6. Loss in Long Run Concentration

Some studies conclude that video games increase concentration, but other research revealed in the Science of Standard Media Culture (2012) that bad games hurt children’s ability to concentrate. It may enhance focus for a short period, but playing video games excessively damages permanent concentration.

Negative Effects of Video Games on Physical Health

7. Vision Issues

Continually looking at electronic screens can lead to strain in the eyes because the cornea, pupil, and iris don’t have any biological protection to save our eyes from exposure to digital screens.

Video games affect the ability to pay attention while doing other activities. In severe conditions, this can lead to headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, resulting in weakening eyesight.

Video games are bad for eye-sight

8. Health Problems

There are many adverse effects of spending too much time playing video games. They not only include psychological effects like becoming anti-social, but they also give rise to many physical illnesses.

Spending more time sitting in one place and playing video games for long hours can reduce children’s physical activity. This lack of physical activity can result in obesity and the weakening of the muscles and joints.

It makes hands and fingers numb, over-sweat and causes deterioration of sight in adverse conditions.

Negative Effects of Video Games on Skills

9. Becomes a Spendthrift

The children spend all the money they earn in a part-time job or get pocket money to upgrade the software or purchase different built-in features to level up their game. They become unconcerned about the usage of cash and savings. It can affect them financially in the long term.

10. Poor Time Managing Skills

Children who are addicted to video games forget everything when they play them. The game limits their sleeping, bathing, eating, and studying time.

Due to this, these children cannot manage their time between different activities and are left behind or perform poorly in everything.

11. Confuse Reality from Fantasy

Children can get confused when distinguishing between reality and fantasy. It can lead to repeating online gaming behaviors in the offline real world. Video games like Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, and Call of Duty are considered bad games as they can lead to the practice of risky behaviors like rash driving, drinking, smoking, etc.

12. Wrong Moral Values

While playing online video games, children get introduced to other people. The children can pick the wrong language and behaviors from them. There are also many threats to the child playing online video games.

Many games also show women as helpless characters, often leading to disrespectful behavior towards women in real life.


Like a coin, video games have two sides: good and bad. Good video games have many beneficial impacts on children, such as increasing concentration, learning motor skills, multitasking, and teamwork.

However, destructive or violent games can make children careless, teach immoral behaviors, reduce the ability to concentrate, cause health issues, etc. Video games are good for you unless it has not turned into an addiction and you are not using them excessively.

After learning about the pros and cons of video games and their effects on your children, what do you think? Are video games bad for you? If not, why are they good for you? Let us know in the comments.

Editor: Er. Vinay Prajapati, MFTech, NIFT

2 thoughts on “Top 23 Pros and Cons of Video Games for Your Child”

  1. Avatar photo
    Jennifer Payne

    Great article. The author has given valuable information. Playing video games has both pros and cons. We should play video games but in moderation to seek benefits, especially after doing our more important tasks to get little entertainment.

  2. This article is amazing. I think it’s very important to allow children to play video games, but with the attention of their parents at all times.
    Especially for the younger kids, their sense of reality and attention to real life could be really affected.
    I guess new generations have a new normal, different from our childhoods. So we have to understand how to deal with that to make it healthy for them.

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