Many people, especially children and teens, enjoy playing video games. There are video games available in all categories, from young children to adults. Despite the fact of the popularity of video games, there has been some concern that video games can decrease a child’s attention span, although some parents feel that allowing their children to play hours and hours of video games is not as harmful as watching the same amount of TV.
A recent study was conducted that suggests that children’s attention spans may be negatively affected by playing video games too often. The study, which targeted elementary school children, found that children in this age group were more than 65% more likely to have their attention spans affected by video games than other children in the same age group. This occurred when elementary age children played more than 2 hours of video games in a 24-hour period.
Researchers followed over 1300 children in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades for more than a year, asking the children and their parents to keep track of how often the children played video games. The children’s video game habits were compared with their school teachers’ reports of their attention spans while in class. Although results showed that as many as 67% of children in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade who played video games for more than 2 hours a day had worse attention spans, researchers did admit that a child who could spend hours a day playing video games certainly didn’t have a serious problem with attention span.
A child with a severe attention span problem would be unable to sit for even a short time in order to play video games, so whatever negative attention span problems that may result from prolonged video game play is evidently not as harmful as many people may think. In fact, other studies suggest that playing video games may actually help to improve a child’s attention span.
Playing video games more than 2 hours daily doesn’t necessarily have to negatively affect a child’s attention span, and it really depends on the particular child. There are quite a few educational video games that can really accelerate your child’s learning, while simultaneously keeping him or her entertained and stimulated. However, in order to avoid having a negative affect on your child’s attention span, there needs to be a balance when it comes to playing video games, just like television.
As long as you limit the time that your child spends playing video games to what you feel is healthy for that particular child, his or her attention span shouldn’t be affected in a negative manner. Experts suggest playing no more than 2 hours a day, but like researchers discovered, every child is different.