Effects of Playing Video Games

The effect of video games playing is a research area that is constantly being analyzed by psychologists and scientists, as the percentage of children and adults who play video games is increasing. Over the years studies have shown that playing video games can increase heart rate, blood pressure and obesity. Playing too much video games can also make children and adults more socially isolated and they may spend less time in other activities such as reading, sports and interacting with family and friends.

Many psychologists and other health and educational professionals believe that playing violent video games can have a negative impact on a child’s or adult’s behavior. Educational professionals have noticed that children tend to routinely skip their homework to play games and they tend to mimic scenes from violent games in the playground. They also report that children sometimes can confuse reality with fantasy.

Previous studies done around the negative impact of video games indicated that violent video games may be related to an increase of aggressive behavior, thoughts and feelings (Anderson & Dill, 2000 & Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004). However other professionals argued that the evidence gathered was never conclusively tested through experiments. In May 2011 the University of Missouri performed the first experimental research that showed that the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence images and this diminished brain response leads to an increase in aggression. The line between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior become indistinct.

The most recent study, done in October 2012 by the research team at Brock University in Canada, found that teenagers who play violent video games over a number of years become more aggressive towards other people. These research findings were said to be the first indication of a clear link between playing violent games and aggression. Evidence suggests that long-term players of violent games may become more likely to react aggressively to unintentional provocations.

Research has also shown that some non-violent video games are excellent teaching tools because they can actually enhance mental ability by helping a child or an adult follow instruction and by enhancing problem solving and motor skills. For example, researchers at the Michigan State University’s Children and Technology Project found a relation between video game playing and greater creativity. Another study done by Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, found that those who play video games have improved skills in vision and attention to detail.

When choosing a video game, parents and adults need to be aware that their decision can have a positive or a negative impact on behavior.


To enhance and consolidate learning, Sachs Center offers Educational Tutoring.

We also offer Play Therapy to show how much children understand about what is happening around them or within themselves.

We also have Parent Training to help parents develop the skills and coping mechanisms necessary to manage their child’s behavior and development.