Surely you heard from many concerned parents that their children are spending too much time playing video games and that the little ones tend to become more violent or less involved at school. But those might be nothing more than isolated cases, as a new study’s conclusions might leave you speechless.
The new research published in Scientific Reports seems to be strongly in favor of children playing video games. Running those virtual worlds on a console, laptop, or smartphone doesn’t necessarily show a causal effect, however, as more studies are needed to clarify the situation.
Playing video games could make a kid a little smarter
The new study suggests that if a child plays video games, he can become smarter, although the difference regarding cognitive abilities was relatively small.
Screen time records from almost 10,000 children from the ABCS study were assessed, and all of these little ones were aged 9 or 10 years old. On average, the children said that they spend an hour a day playing video games, 2.5 hours watching TV or video clips, and half an hour speaking with others online. Two years later, when the researchers analyzed about half of the same children, they found out that the little ones who were spending more time playing video games than the average norm were shown to reach a higher IQ with 2.5 points.
Torkel Klingberg, a neuroscientist from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, explained:
Our results support the claim that screen time generally doesn’t impair children’s cognitive abilities, and that playing video games can actually help boost intelligence.
The same scientist said:
We didn’t examine the effects of screen behavior on physical activity, sleep, wellbeing, or school performance, so we can’t say anything about that.
It might also come as a surprise that the same study indicates that using social media or watching TV didn’t seem to have any effect on intelligence at all.