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12 December 2013

Seven Benefits of Gaming

Keywords: brains, games, gaming, health, prosocial, Literature review, interactive media, kids, media,

What are the benefits of playing video games for children? A recent study in American Psychologist provides an answer to this question by conducting a thorough review of research on the positive effects of gaming. The review concludes that playing video games—even violent shooter games!—enhances children’s brain, health, and social skills.

Take aways

  • Playing video games may boost children’s;
    1. brain skills (e.g., better attention, memory, and reasoning)
    2. ability to think in 3D
    3. problem solving skills
    4. school grades
    5. creativity
    6. well-being (e.g., happier and more relaxed)
    7. prosocial behavior.
  • Intervention developers should know that video games can be a promising tool in promoting well-being, prosocial behavior, and brain skills. 

Study information

  • The question?

    What are the benefits of playing video games for children?

  • Who?

    Focus on children

  • How?

    A literature review of 33 studies published between 2005 and 2013 was conducted. Based on this review the positive effects of playing video games was assessed.

Facts and findings

  • Playing video games strengthens children’s brain skills (e.g., attention, memory, and reasoning), in particular when playing violent shooter games (e.g., Halo 4 and Grand Theft IV). 
  • Shooter games also improve children’s ability to think about objects in 3D.
  • Playing strategic games increased children’s problem solving skills and school grades.
  • Playing any kind of video game enhanced creativity in children.
  • Simple and easily accessible games (e.g. Angry birds and Bejeweled II) made children happier and more relaxed. 
  • Playing team-player games promoted prosocial behavior in children, even if the games were violent.