Video games are a very well known source of entertainment in America and around the world. Playing video games can be very fun for many kids and adults of any age. Despite this, video games are not well perceived by parents, politicians, etc. around the country. Video games are seen among these people as a source of entertainment that provides no other benefits and is not helpful for kids. However, games have been seen to help kids’ mental health and education.
Playing video games is a very beneficial way to help kids learn in school and help their cognitive abilities. According to Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, “Our brains constantly build models, or ‘templates,’ of the world. The better the template, the better the performance. And now we know playing action video games actually foster better templates.”
“I noticed when I would play video games, after, when I had to do schoolwork, I would be more focused than I usually was when I was doing school work,” senior Jakob Shiffman said. Shiffman later mentioned that when he played action video games like Call of Duty, they would help his focus in school.
Video games can also help with mental health. According to Mike Richman, a writer and editor for VA Research Communications, video games “can provide benefits of confidence, social connection, personal growth.” I can definitely see this in my own life. Playing online games can help players meet other people with similar interests, which can help them learn lots of social skills. In the long run, this could help with mental health. Richman also said in his article that “These video games can also help veterans who suffer from PTSD or even some trauma related symptoms.”
But there are also some people who don’t agree with the fact that video games are beneficial in many ways. According to psychiatrist in Boston, MA and the co-founder of Healthy Gamer, addictions expert Dr. Alok Kanojia, “Some studies indicate that gaming results in people becoming anxious, depressed, angry, or even violent.” Gaming can cause a little bit of anxiety, but the anxiety it could cause is pretty temporary and not as bad as most people would think. I do notice that when I play some video games it causes some anxiety momentarily, but I play fine afterwards and am able to handle it. He plays a lot more video games than I do. “When I play in tourneys I get a little anxious, but then after [the tournament], I feel fine,” senior Blake Knauss said.
Video games cause a lot of controversy among the country. Some people believe video games mess up people's mental health and don’t help learning in school. Other people say video games help with school and mental health, just like Kanojia who says, “Video games increase your attention span, improve decision making and problem-solving.”