Gaming Days at the Library

Many studies show that playing violent computer games makes children more aggressive even when they are normally non-aggressive children. They are also less likely to empathise with others and are desensitised to violence (Anderson et al., 2010). However, some computer games can lead to greater empathy. Recent research suggests that playing video games, which promote helping, such as ‘Lemmings’ where you have to guide little lemmings to safety can actually make you more helpful and caring. There are also many educational computer games (Greitemeyer and Osswald, 2010).

‘My 9-year-old son says that all his friends are allowed to play violent computer games so why can’t he?’

Parents should have the final decision on whether a game is suitable for a 9-year-old to play. You may want to explain to your son why you think the violent computer games are unsuitable. You can also ask him to read the research into the damaging effects of violent computer games.