Active video games help children become smarter by boosting their
self-esteem and problem-solving skills besides motivating them to
exercise, says a new study.
Penny Sweetser, Daniel Johnson and Peta
Wyeth from Australia's Games Research and Interaction Design (GRID) Lab
in Queensland investigated the amount of time children spent watching TV
and DVDs, compared to playing video games.
Watching TV was a
"passive" experience, while video and computer games were interactive,
boosting children's self-esteem, problem-solving skills and in some
cases, physical activity levels, said Johnson, the Australian Journal
for Early Childhood reports.
"Emerging research has shown that
active video games such as Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation Move, and the
XBOX Kinect can be used to motivate young children to exercise and be
more active outside of the game setting," adds Johnson, according to a
"There is a lot of negative press about
gaming and that's not well-supported. Where there is a negative effect,
research shows it's on the minority of people. Video games are a
mainstream pastime," Johnson says.
Their analysis of data from the
Longitudinal Study of Australian Children found children in a
particular age group spent, on an average, some two to three hours
watching TV compared to less than a half hour playing video games or
Working on computer and playing video games
should not be classed as the same type of activity as watching TV.
Screen-time recommendations, which are based on the sum of all
screen-related activities, should be divided into two categories, active
and passive screen time, says Sweetser.
"Clearly, certain forms
of media such as violent video games are not appropriate for children,
and games should be played in moderation," adds Sweetser.