The pros and cons of video games make the decision of whether or not to play a personal one. Many people feel that the pros outweigh the cons, but you should understand all the risks and benefits when determining whether or not to permit video game play.
Video games improve hand-eye coordination.
Video games are known for helping kids to develop and improve hand-eye coordination. Some video games require you to hit buttons at a certain time, or in coordination with images on the screen, which promotes good reflexes, dexterity and physical coordination.
Educational video games make learning easy and fun.
Some kids just hate anything they think is "educational" by default, but educational video games make learning easy and fun. In many cases, kids don't even realize they're learning as they're playing. Even when games are obviously educational, game designers develop them in such a way as to promote playing even in kids who typically avoid educational content, by promoting achievement and competition.
Video games promote puzzle-solving and logic skills.
Many video games require you to solve puzzles or think your way logically through a situation in order to advance in the game. These games can help you develop problem-solving skills that you can apply to real life.
Multiplayer video games foster cooperation, teamwork and sharing.
In multiplayer video games, players must work cooperatively, function as a team and share responsibilities and rewards. Multiplayer video games promote these valuable skills, which translate easily into team activities and even employment.
Video games are relatively inexpensive entertainment.
Aside from the initial outlay on a video game console, video games themselves are relatively inexpensive. You might spend $50 on a video game with anywhere from 20 to 50 hours of gameplay; making it cost between $1 to $2.50 per hour for entertainment. Compare this to a movie at $10.50 for two hours, and video games are a bargain.
Video games can become addictive.
Unfortunately, video games can become addictive. Like any form of escapist or avoidant behavior, people who are unable to cope with problems may retreat into video game worlds. While it's not common, video game players have been known to lose jobs and ruin their lives through video game addiction.
Video games keep you indoors and away from social interaction.
Some scientific studies indicate that the quality of social interaction you get through video games is inferior to real-life social interaction. When you're playing video games, you're not out getting real-life social interaction, and some sociologists and psychologists believe that this can cause a host of social and personal issues.
Video games may contain violence.
Some video games do contain violence and content that is inappropriate for children. Game ratings can help you protect your children from content that is too mature for them. However, some people believe that violence in video games desensitizes children from real-life violence, and may lead to violent tendencies.
Playing video games may promote poor health.
When you're indoors playing video games, you're not outdoors getting the recommended level of physical activity. Some video game players don't spend enough time outdoors and may become overweight or suffer from other health problems.
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The most popular video games have sold millions, or tens of millions of copies over the lifetimes of their respective consoles. Did your favorite video games make the cut?