On the one hand, computer games have a positive effect on the child’s development, support coordination, help to get rid of excess emotions and stimulate the mental development of children. On the other hand, they can lead to the development of aggression and computer addiction. In the article below, we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of computer games, and you will draw your own conclusions.

Children can have a number of benefits from computer games, first of all, research on the usefulness of computer games as an educational technique allows to state that computer games stimulate the child’s mental development and increase the so-called cognitive activity, which is an important factor for success in learning. Using a computer, and especially playing games, supports hand-eye coordination (a process whose proper development is a prerequisite for acquiring knowledge and school skills), as it requires a high reaction speed and often three-dimensional interpretation of two-dimensional images. By playing the game, the child stimulates all his senses and learns to coordinate them. In addition to following what is happening on the screen using the joystick or the computer keyboard, the child also experiences tactile sensations – they must coordinate hand movements with what is happening on the screen. Secondly, computer games also have a positive effect on the development of a child’s language skills, if we take care of it. It will be easier for a child to play a completely Polish game, although it is worth choosing the English version with Polish subtitles, thanks to which the child will be familiar with the language, remember certain phrases, and he will do all this while having fun, thanks to which he will not be aware that he is learning and will remember more.

Apart from the benefits of computer games presented above, there are also risks and threats associated with them. Scientific research proves the negative impact, especially of aggressive and violent content contained in computer games or on the Internet. Playing games or other forms of contact with content that contains aggressive elements leads to aggressive behavior – that is, children imitate what they see on the screen. Research conducted among young children – as opposed to studies of adolescents and older adolescents – confirm that they actually become more aggressive after contact with a game with elements of violence or watching films with such a color. A younger child, left with a game containing elements of aggression and violence, cannot separate good from evil and is more affected by it. Its nervous system is still immature and cannot select the excess of stimuli flowing from the screen, emotions are unstable and are more susceptible to harmful influences, which is why it is so important for the parent to choose a game or website for the child – devoid of excess aggression. And if such a game happens, e.g. given as a gift or borrowed from a friend, accompany the child during its use and provide appropriate explanations in a language that he understands.

To sum up, computer games have their advantages and disadvantages, but it is up to us, parents, which ones will prevail. Games can be a great support for a child’s education, and also be a fun form of entertainment for him. On the other hand, games with inappropriate content and in excess can hurt the child. You always have to look for the “golden mean” and wisely divide the time spent in front of the computer screen or console and the time when the child spends on other activities, including outdoor activities.