Video Games Beneficial or Detrimental?

On 11 March 2010, Science Daily, published an article stating that video-game ownership may affect young boys’ academic functioning.

However, in March 2013, Science Daily published another article; this time saying that action video games boosts readings skills of children with dyslexia.

The main question parents would want to know is whether video games are beneficial to children or not?  The recent study would say ‘yes’ while the older study would say ‘no’ straight out.  So which one is it?

It has to be noted that the recent study was conducted on children with dyslexia.  In that study, the dyslexics benefited from video games not because of the games per se but because of the video games’ ability to capture the attention of the child and its ability to sustain that attention long enough to create a learning environment.  Video games are simply that fun.


Children and computers, human beings and computers is the future.  You can either deny it until it’s too late or take charge and make it work for you.

Video games are great platforms for learning because the motivation for children is already there.  All we have to do is to incorporate the appropriate skills (ie. reading skills, recognition skills, psycho-motor coordination, etc.) which the child needs to absorb on a particular game. Once we can derive a lesson or a skill from video games then we can combine a fun experience with actual learning.

For example:

  • It was in Sierra’s games of King’s Quest and Space Quest where I learned to type.
  • It was in a mere text game called Dope Wars where I learned the basics of trading (Buy low Sell high).  Although I won’t recommend this game for children for obvious reasons.
  • I have played in dozens of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) and I’ve learned that raw strength alone is not enough to overcome every battle.
  • Children can also learn from MMORPG’s the basic economic laws, the balance of limited resources and societal demands (and that we can’t just print money indiscriminately).


In the end, once we can spend time to process the games’ lessons and learnings in the children’s level of comprehension, video gaming, like all other sports can be both fun and healthy. Of course, I am writing about the fun and benefits of video games as independent of the condition called gaming addiction disorder.  As long as the child is not using the computer games as an alternate reality to escape their family and school stress, then you guys are all fine.

Video gaming itself is not the enemy.  In fact, supervised and processed gaming is a very useful tool for the emotional and intellectual development of children.