A little gaming every day is okay!
The findings of a recent study in to the impacts of gaming on children’s development are sure to make children and young people happy across the UK and beyond!
It found that young people who game for less than an hour each day were happier overall with their lives, got on better with their friends, were more likely to help people in difficulty, had fewer emotional issues and lower levels of hyperactivity.
The study, involving surveys with 5,000 British young people aged 10-15, included both young people who gamed and those who did not play any video games at all. It suggested that there may be some good reasons that playing video games - just like non-digital forms of play, such as playing sports or board games - may be beneficial for children’s development as they present challenges for judgement, reasoning and memory, as well as opportunities for exploration, relaxation and socialising with peers. All of which can have a positive impact on children’s well-being.
But before you start using this as an excuse for an extra-long session of Clash of Clans or Angry Birds, think again!
The study also showed that young people who gamed for more than three hours a day reported being overall unhappier with their lives and having less positive relationships with their peers.
Additionally, the study’s author Dr Andrew Przyblski said that other factors, like relationships with family and at school, had more significant impacts on children’s well-being and behaviour. Dr Przyblski also highlighted that the small, positive effects that had been observed did not support the idea that video games alone can help children to develop.
So the main lesson to learn from the study is that whilst playing for a little while daily on your favourite game may be beneficial, it’s important to not spend too much time gaming. It's also really important to balance time spent playing video games with other things that you enjoy and can learn from.
Learn how to stay safe when playing video games and our ‘5 things to look out for’ when making new friends and contacts in a multiplayer game here.