A review of the effect of video games on children

Parents and other educators have expressed concern about the effect of video games on children, contending, among other things, that the games distract students from schoolwork and promote criminal activity. But the speakers at the conference were virtually unanimous in their praise for the games.

18. Emes CE: Is Mr. Pac Man eating our children? A review of the effect of video games on children. Can J Psychiatry 1997;42:409

Until scientists establish a direct causal relationship between video game play and behavioral changes, the debate around the pros and cons of playing video games will continue. Where do you sit in this debate? Have you noticed any effects of video games on you or your children? What can and should we, as a society, do to address the negative effects of video games on children? Or are parents alone responsible? Please leave your opinions below.

A Review of the Effect of Video Games on Children

If you’re like most adults, you probably have an opinion about the effects of video games on children and teenagers. Perhaps as a response to these violent incidents, the negative effects of video games on children, including aggression, hostility, and addiction, has now been examined in more than 300 studies. But the positive effects of non-educational video games, including the development of initiative, intrinsic motivation, and cooperation, has been examined in only 30 studies!

The Effect Of Video Games On Children: Something To Think About

A female reported these summaries from studies on children and video game effects. I would refer you to the studies themselves for evidence of the effects of video games on children.

A review of the effect of video games on children · C E Emes ·


An early study on the effects of video games on childrenfound that playing video games had more positive effects onchildren than watching television. A conference sponsored byAtari at Harvard University in 1983 presented preliminary datawhich failed to identify ill effects. More recent research,however, has begun to find connections between children's playingof violent video games and later aggressive behavior. A researchreview done by NCTV (1990) found that 9 of 12 research studies onthe impact of violent video games on normal children andadolescents reported harmful effects. In general, while videogame playing has not been implicated as a direct cause of severepsycho-pathology, research suggests that there is a short-termrelationship between playing violent games and increasedaggressive behavior in younger children (Funk, 1993). Hundred of pieces of medical and social science research (both published and unpublished) currently address the effects of video games on children. But it is difficult to find objective information about video games when looking at the studies. Personal interests and bias exist throughout the research as those on both sides of video game debate claim that scientific literature supports their opinions. Therefore, we propose to outline four common claims from both sides of the video game debate here to help you make sense of it all.