Are Video Games Bad for Me?

Are Video Games Bad for Me?

Lots of kids love video games. In fact, they like them so much that they might hear something like this from mom or dad: "Enough! Unplug that thing and find something else to do!"

It can be good advice, even if you were just about to crash through to the next level. Why? Too much of anything is just too much. It's true that some studies have shown certain video games can improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and the mind's ability to process information. But too much video game playing may lead to health problems.

It's hard to get enough active play and exercise if you're always inside playing video games. And without enough exercise, kids can become overweight.

Really overdoing video games also could affect other important stuff, like friendships and how well a kid does in school. And it's still unclear what effect violent and disturbing games have on a person's brain.

But here's the good news: Playing video games some of the time can be OK. Just choose quality games and limit screen time — which includes TV, computer, and video game time combined — to no more than 2 hours a day.

A good game will be the right one for how old you are. Games are rated like movies and your mom or dad can help figure out which ones you should use. If you can choose one that gets you up and moving, that's even better.

You might challenge your mom, dad — or even your grandma — to swing the bat in a game of baseball or try out some fancy moves in one of the dancing games. Could your grandma be a dancing queen? Time to find out!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: April 2011





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteMcGruff.org A safe place where kids can learn about safety and how to protect themselves through playing fun and interactive games.
Web Sitei-SAFE America i-SAFE teaches kids and teens how to be safe on the Internet.
Web SiteBAM! Body and Mind This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids.
Related Articles
Be a Fit Kid A lot of people talk about fit kids, but how do you become one? Here are five rules to live by, if you want to eat right, be active, and maintain a healthy weight.
Computers Can Be a Real Pain A lot of kids spend time in front of the computer. If you're one of them, check out this article to learn how to avoid wrist pain and other problems.
Safe Cyberspace Surfing Even though the Web can be a great place to learn stuff and meet up with friends and family, you have to know some cyberspace safety rules.
It's Time to Play If you're a kid, playing is your job. But sometimes you need a few ideas to get you going. Find them here in this article.
Why Exercise Is Cool Exercise can help keep a kid's body fit and healthy. Learn more about what exercise can do for you in this article for kids.
What If I Don't Like Sports? Sports can be challenging when you're new to them, but they also can be really fun. Take a second look at sports - and learn other ways to be active - in this article for kids.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter