Many kids who played their first video games in 70’s and 80’s have now become parents. The generation that grew up with Nintendo and SEGA video gaming consoles now very likely has Sony Playstation or Xbox in the house. Video games became a big part of our lives; it is impossible not to notice the growing size of video gaming isles in every toy store. Impressive graphics and improved game controls make it hard to stop playing and kids spend too much time submerged into the gaming world. Many people claim that gaming industry makes kids socially isolated, physically inactive and promotes an aggressive behavior. However, when parents moderate and participate in gaming with their kids it makes it both safe and fun for all; in addition, collective gaming helps making new friends. The consequences to a person’s health can be severe. These consequences vary depending on the type of games played and the amount of play time. Video gaming should be seen as a worthwhile activity because right selection of games will provide social interaction, vigorous physical activity and great opportunity for parents to control and participate in their children’s life.
According to published findings by independent researchers video games make children anti-social. Prof Ryuta Kawashima, of the Tohoku University in Japan suggests that playing computer game does not stimulate the brain's frontal lobe, an area which plays an important role in the repression of anti-social impulses and is associated with memory, learning and emotion (Matthews). Another research report by Hope Cummings of the University of Michigan and Elizabeth Vandewater from the University of Texas at Austin showed that boys who play video games spend less time reading, while gamer girls spend less time on their homework. Time socializing with family and friends, however, does not suffer when kids are playing a Wii or Xbox games. Interestingly, the amount of time spent doing homework by boys stayed the same, and the amount of time spent reading stayed the same for girls (O’Brien). Playing video games seem to negatively affect children’s learning, reading and social development skills.
On the contrary, it is a well known fact that games allow children to find friends based on common interests because kids often play together in groups or play with others online. According to the Pew Internet study of US teenagers only a small number of adolescents play alone, while most of them actually join their friends while gaming. The survey of eleven hundred teenagers aged twelve to seventeen revealed that many of them used educational games to learn about world issues and also became more involved in politics (ANI). Every gamer knows that it is much more interesting to play with real opponent than with machine. The multi - player modes in modern video games allow people from different countries play the same game as a team or compete against each other. Video games are just another type of toy that kids can play alone or with a friend. Before video games kids would play board games or watch TV, now they can do similar, but much more technologically advanced activities together on a gaming console equipped with multiple controls.
Obviously, the popular claim that video games cause a lack of physical activity has been around for a long time. Many people say that kids spend hours sitting in front of TV or a computer instead of playing active games. Children would sit and play basketball on Xbox instead of running and playing it in real life. Before you know, most if not all sports get played in front of TV or computer screen. This in turn, predisposes to a low activity lifestyle and later on in life as adults those kids may suffer from some sort of ailment such as heart, muscle problems and obesity. This is most often combined with poor nutrition as a result from eating fast food or junk food, which contributes to putting on weight and other hurtful health problems (Mayes).