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Should Electronic Play be Encouraged for School-Age Children

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Through the years, the games’ realistic and stimulating character has made it extremely acceptable and trendy to the younger generation. Statistics show that almost 80% of American children, ages 7 to 17 years old, play an average of 8 hours daily. While some games available in the market are suitably wholesome, beneficial and educational for children; some games, particularly those with ultra violent content could be destructive and inappropriate. The intensification of electronic gameplay together with the escalating incidences of youth crimes has led to massive government and police and legislative schemes worldwide (School Age: Video Game Addiction, 2008). Majority of conducted studies have been centered on the negative correlation between electronic games and aggressive behavior among the youth; and assessment of strategies aimed at reduction of risks to minors.

However, minimal studies have been carried out to prove some probabilities of constructive influences on children’ s development. According to Green and Bavelier (2003), computer and video games could actually improve visual concentration, cognitive skills and gross and fine motor skills. Anderson and Bushman (2001) and Griffiths (2003, 2004) investigated games’ potential therapeutic results and increased social interaction enhanced by electronic games.

Moreover, studies have been made on the significance of these games in developmental play (Gelfond & Salonius-Pasternak, in press; Goldstein, 2000; Penny Arcade, 2002; Scarlett, Naudeau, Ponte, & Salonius-Pasternak, 2004) and in education (Din & Calao, 2001; Fontana & Beckerman, 2004; Kankaanranta & Nousiainen, 2004; Yelland & Lloyd, 2001). However, contrary to the above-mentioned optimistic side of electronic games, in another study by Anderson and Bushman (2001), the authors posited that constant exposure to violent games could encourage behavior by influencing theShould electronic play to be encouraged for school-age children?

With the evidence presented in this paper, readers will be able to weigh both sides of the arguments.

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