When it comes to video games, many people, especially the older generation, view it as a medium that does nothing but rot kids’ brains. They think that video games dumb down children or cause them to become more violent. However, a recent study is debunking that belief as it’s showing that a video game can boost a child’s intelligence and also be good for their mental health. But how is it boosting a child’s intelligence and how much impact does it have? Find out more in this article.
The Research Work for Playing a Video Game
The research work was conducted by several professors and scientists, including a renowned professor of cognitive neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, Torkel Klingberg. The research is entitled “The impact of digital media on children’s intelligence while controlling for genetic differences in cognition and socio-economic background.” They analyzed 9855 children ages 9 and 10 years old in the US and are part of the ABCD dataset. In the research, they looked at the impact on the children’s intelligence of various activities like watching, gaming, and socializing.
They measured the intelligence at baseline and then after two years of doing the activity. At the baseline measurement, they saw that time watching and socializing were negatively correlated while gaming did not correlate at all. After two years, their research yielded that watching videos and gaming positively impacted the children’s intelligence while socializing had no effect. However, their findings are not groundbreaking since there have been studies before that already support this.
They just further confirmed the cognitive benefits of video games. However, the researchers noted that their study didn’t measure the effects of these activities on sleep, well-being, school performance, and physical activity. They only looked at its effect on intelligence, so that’s the only thing they can talk about. Moreover, they also noted that there are contradictory studies available. They said that the contradictions are likely due to various limitations like the “relatively small sample size” and the “failures to control for genetic predispositions and socio-economic context.”
The Methodology of the Research
To properly measure the results, the participating children were given psychological tests to measure their brainpower. They were also interviewed and asked questions regarding their daily activities, particularly watching TV, playing games, and browsing social media. After the assessment, each kid is given 2.5 hours a day of watching TV, one-hour playing video games, and 30 minutes on social media. After two years, they did another psychological test to measure any changes.
The researchers found out that kids who spend more time playing video games have higher intelligence than those who spend only an average of one-hour gaming. The researchers also factored in other details like the difference in household income and parental education, which makes the results even more significant.
How Does a Video Game Boost a Child’s Intelligence?
So, how can a video game make a kid smarter? Well, when kids play video games, they need to think. Video games provide various tasks, obstacles, and challenges that kids need to overcome. These things make them think about strategies or actions they can do to progress further. In turn, it improves the cognitive function of a child, thus helping boost their intelligence. This type of enriched environment is not something that kids will encounter in their day-to-day activities.
That’s why the more time a kid spends playing a video game, the more their brains experience stimulation. They get to think of strategies and plans to complete tasks and conquer obstacles. In short, video games require more active participation from kids, compared to watching TV or socializing, which are more passive activities. Additionally, playing video games provides a higher boost in intelligence for children.
What Does This Research Mean For Video Games?
For many video game developers, it shows that they’re not just providing entertainment for kids when they develop and release their video games. They’re helping boost the intelligence of the children who make play their video games. It gives them more motivation and confidence in coming up with more games. They can argue they’re making a difference. Therefore, it’s good news and welcome development.
It’s welcome news for gamers, especially kids since there are now studies that show what they’re doing isn’t useless. It’s becoming evident that playing video games can help boost their intelligence. Of course, this doesn’t mean that kids have a free pass to just play video games all the time. As stated in the research, their study only measures how video games impact intelligence.
It doesn’t measure other factors like school performance, sleep, and well-being. So, kids mustn’t just spend the majority of their time playing fun video games. It might boost their intelligence, but it will likely have a negative impact on other aspects of their well-being.
Overall, the goal of these studies is to prove how it can significantly boost a child’s intelligence. It has many benefits, especially when compared to the cons. So if you want to read more news and guides about video games for kids, stay tuned here in PlayPC.