Are online games good or bad for kids?

There are several different views that people take regarding online games for kids . Some people think that children spend far too much time playing games online when they should be outside playing sport and climbing trees and all the other kind of stuff that kids used to do in the past. Then on the other side of the coin there are experts who think that kids games online are highly beneficial; that they are educational and help children develop a range of new skills which can be highly beneficial later in life. So where does the truth lie?

First let’s consider some of their beneficial aspects. There is little doubt that online games help children to develop both their IQ level and their ability to think logically, particularly those games that require a strategic approach; even very young children can develop the ability to plan game playing strategies.

They also help children with their reading and language skills. The need to following written instructions in order to play a particular game helps children develop a structured approach to reading and comprehension and often will help extend the child’s vocabulary. They also improve the ability to retain detailed information and generally improve memory skills.

Both thinking agility and motor skills are improved by playing fast moving games. Good hand eye coordination is important in many aspects of life; many top surgeons say that they were skilled computer game players when they were young.

Despite these beneficial aspects there can be times when they are outweighed by negative effects, and there relate to game content and the possibility of spending an excessive amount of time playing them.

Ealing with the first one, some online games are simply not suitable for kids. Their content might be violent or too adult and not the kind that we would wish our children to be exposed too. The answer to this is simple; as parents we need to restrict the places that kids go online to play to those that are known to be safe, and that is quite easy to do.

In terms of kids spending too much time online, again as parents we realise that kids need balance. Obviously too much time online can be damaging, but so can too much time spent watching television or even doing homework. Parents need to provide a structured environment for their children which includes a reasonable amount of all suitable activities, of which playing games online is just one of them.

The conclusion is that with good parenting, online games can be highly beneficial for children. There are dangers out there, but good parents are fully aware of this and will always keep their children safe from them.