kid sitting on gray bed while playing
kid sitting on gray bed while playing

Gaming has been an essential part of my life since I was 11 years old.

I still vividly remember the excitement I felt when my dad set up our first gaming console - Nintendo.

There were times when I stayed up all night, working tirelessly to crack a difficult game puzzle.

Those moments of triumph were exhilarating.

However, I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out differently if I hadn't spent so much time playing video games.

Would I have pursued other interests and been more successful?

Would I have learned a musical instrument instead of obsessing over game levels?

Now, as a father of two, I often think about how video games might impact my children.

I am on two tails with sharing the world of gaming with them.

While it could bring us some happy bonding-over-gaming time together, what are the consequences of introducing them to the crazy world of video gaming?

I know there's a lot of debate about the effects of video games on young minds.

That's why I decided to research the topic and write this article, so that I can share what I've learned.

man making thumbs up sign
man making thumbs up sign
Princess Peach figurine
Princess Peach figurine
2 boys sitting on red and black ride on toy car
2 boys sitting on red and black ride on toy car

The Good

Let's start with the good stuff.

Video games can be a lot of fun and have some positive effects on children. For one, they can improve hand-eye coordination.

I mean, have you ever seen a kid playing a fast-paced game?

They're like ninjas with those controllers. And studies have shown that playing video games can improve reaction time, spatial awareness, and even creativity.

In fact, some game designers argue that video games can be a form of art.

So, in general, video gaming offers these possible benefits:

  • Improved hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Video games that require players to use their hands and eyes quickly and accurately can help improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time. This can be beneficial in a variety of activities, such as sports, playing musical instruments, and driving.

  • Increased problem-solving skills. Many video games require players to solve puzzles or challenges in order to progress. This can help improve problem-solving skills, which can be useful in school and in life.

  • Enhanced creativity. Some video games allow players to create their own worlds or characters. This can help foster creativity and imagination.

  • Improved social skills. Some video games allow players to interact with other players online. This can help improve social skills, such as communication and teamwork.

The Bad

Now, let's get to the juicy stuff.

There are some negative effects of video games on children, such as addiction and aggression.

I remember when I was a kid, I would spend hours playing Super Mario Bros. I mean, who wouldn't want to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser's evil clutches?

"Peaches, peaches, peaches, peaches, peaches~"

It got even worse when I discovered MMORPGs. I would spend hours each day levelling up my Dark Ages character and building relationships with other players.

Unfortunately, this addiction came at a cost - I neglected my schoolwork and performed poorly on my final year project during my Polytechnic days.

If it wasn't for the lecturer's kindness in passing me out of goodwill, I would have failed.

You would have thought that I would have learned my lesson by then. Instead, I became addicted to World of Warcraft.

My life revolved around work, playing WoW, sleeping, and repeating the cycle. I had no social life to speak of.

Possible consequences:

  • Addiction. Some children can become addicted to video games. This can lead to problems with school, relationships, and sleep.

  • Poor academic performance. Children who spend too much time playing video games may have lower grades in school.

The Ugly

Video games can have serious consequences on children's physical and mental health.

Sitting in front of a screen for hours on end can lead to obesity, poor posture, and eye strain.

And let's not forget the potential for cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content.

I mean, have you ever seen a kid playing Fortnite for hours on end?

They look like they haven't moved from that spot in days. And don't even get me started on the eye strain from staring at the screen for so long.

Downright harmful:

  • Violence. Some video games contain violence. This can desensitize children to violence and make them more likely to behave aggressively.

  • Obesity. According to the American Heart Association, children who spend more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen are at risk for obesity and other health problems.

  • Eye problems. A study published in the journal "Ophthalmology" found that children who played video games for more than two hours a day were more likely to have eye problems, such as nearsightedness, than children who played video games for less than two hours a day.

The Balance

Will I allow my girls to play video games?

That's a question I often ponder. For now, I plan to limit their exposure until they reach their teenage years.

Currently, they enjoy playing pretend games, climbing on the playground, and doing gymnastics.

I believe the key is to keep them engaged with activities they enjoy.

Many parents who allow their children to play video games for long hours do so because they are busy with work or other obligations.

By occupying their time with other activities, their children may not even think about playing games.

As for my own experience, I tried giving my eldest daughter, Lele, a gaming console to play Super Mario.

However, she found it too challenging and preferred playing soccer with me instead.

She did rekindle the interest in playing Super Mario again after watching the movie.

However, after I kept it away after realizing she had spent hours on it, she never asked for it again.

But what if my girls do express a strong interest in playing video games? I would carefully consider their request and set some ground rules.

Perhaps we could play together, and I could monitor the amount of time they spend gaming.

Ultimately, I want to ensure that they have a healthy balance of activities in their lives.

Here’s things I will do:

  • Set limits on screen time. Limit the amount of time your child spends playing video games each day.

  • Choose educational or family-friendly games. Encourage your child to play games that are educational or that promote family bonding.

  • Encourage other activities. Make sure your child has plenty of time for other activities, such as sports, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Talk to your child about video games. Talk to your child about the positive and negative effects of video games. Help them understand how to play video games in a healthy way

Nope. It won’t be easy if your child is already deep in the rabbit hole. But trust me, it’s all worth it.

Do it for them.


Video games can have both positive and negative effects on children.

It's important to find a balance and ensure that our child is engaging in a variety of activities.

And hey, who knows, maybe your child will grow up to be the next great video game designer.

Just don’t be a pro-gamer. Most of them will lose their love of the game ^_^

See ya next time.


  • Boot, W. R., et al. (2008). Is action video game playing associated with improved cognition? A systematic review. Psychological Bulletin

  • Huang, C., et al. (2015). Association between video game playing time and myopia in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology,

  • Przybylski, A. K., et al. (2010). A research agenda for the study of positive effects of video games. Perspectives on Psychological Science

  • University of Rochester. "Playing action video games can boost learning, study says." ScienceDaily, 13 September 2013.

  • Wang, J., et al. (2009). The effects of online gaming on social skills in adolescents: A meta-analysis. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

  • National Institutes of Health. "Video Games and Children: Playing with Violence." American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

  • Anderson, C.A., Shibuya, A., Ihori, N., Swing, E.L., Bushman, B.J., Sakamoto, A., & Saleem, M. (2010). Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in Eastern and Western countries: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin

  • Ritterfeld, U., Cody, M., & Vorderer, P. (2009). Serious games: Mechanisms and effects.

  • Huang, C., et al. (2015). Association between video game playing time and myopia in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology

How Video Games Affect Our Children

The good, the bad and the ugly.


4/27/20236 min read