Whenever a horrible national tragedy happens, people often like to point the finger at violent movies and games. It’s often a knee jerk reaction that’s understandable, but it’s also shortsighted because even if we got rid of violent movies and games, real life violence will continue to happen no matter what.
This story comes from The Washington Post, and this study was conducted by the American Psychological Assocation in conjunction with Brown University. As this report tells us, violent video games “may boost children’s learning, health and social skills…such play actually may strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception.”
Now this report doesn’t recommend letting your kids play GTA, but something a little milder, like Angry Birds, “can improve players’ moods, promote relaxation and ward off anxiety.” In addition, gaming teaches kids how to think in three dimensions, and it can also help them develop problem solving skills.
Where a lot of people decry violent games, I don’t get the impression that a lot of people think that deeply when playing them. They’re just having fun, and not thinking about unloading in a post office with a Mac-10. So as long as your young ones aren’t blasting cops and picking up hookers, a little gaming violence can’t hurt, and we’d much rather kids got their aggressions out by throttling a joystick instead of throttling another kid on the schoolyard.