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Video games: does this harm children before many games?


On the contrary, there are even studies that conclude that video games can be good for brain development. Spanish scientists have now presented the results of an investigation that looked into the effects of “daddling”.

Frequent players are more behavioral
The scientists from the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, ​​Spain, conclude that children who spend a lot of time playing video games are more likely to behave on average and find it harder to deal with their peers, reports the dpa news agency. This effect is particularly strong in children who gamble for more than nine hours a week. It remained open what cause and what is effect. The researchers recently published their results in the "Annals of Neurology".

Computer games make children more responsive
In order to arrive at these results, the researchers examined 2,442 children between the ages of seven and eleven. The parents were asked how much time their children spend playing video games. They also had to answer questions about their children's behavior. According to the information, the type of video game was not taken into account.

The scientists have not only found negative effects. Children who played an hour or two a week were said to be more responsive than children who did not play. The effect is not more pronounced with higher game consumption. "Video games in themselves are neither good nor bad, the time spent on them is decisive," explained the study's first author, Jesus Pujol.

Unclear whether social behavior comes from playing
According to the head of the computer game museum in Berlin, Andreas Lange, it is not clear whether certain social behavior comes from playing a lot - or whether it is the other way around. The cause of difficult behavior could possibly also lie with the parents. These children would then look for what they don't get at home and reward them in video games, for example.

According to Lange, children who only play for one hour a week mostly come from families in which there is "a great deal of care for one another". "Children who do this do not do it on their own, but because the parents do not allow it." The reason for the good results is the sheltered family home and not the low consumption of games.

How much play is still okay
The entertainment software self-control (USK) has a few tips for parents whose children are fascinated by computer games. It is very important how much play is still okay.

As a guideline for children up to seven years of age, the experts recommend playing around 20 to 30 minutes a day under supervision. Eight to ten year olds could already play around 60 minutes, ten to twelve year olds 75 minutes.

The initiative klicksafe.de, behind which, among other things, the State Center for Media and Communication (LMK) Rhineland-Palatinate is based, provides a similar orientation aid: for children aged seven to ten, it can be around 45 minutes a day. (ad)

Author and source information


Video: Testing Gamer vs Non-Gamer Brains: How Do Video Games Affect You? WIRED (October 2021).