Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Can Playing Video Games Be Good for Kids?

My son loves video games. He spends hours every day in his room playing them. Is there any educational value to video games? Some seem like they could help him learn strategy. But I worry that others may be too violent.
– Scottie

Some games might improve kids' hand–eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Video games that require kids to actually move or manipulate the game through their own physical movement can even get sedentary kids moving — but not as much as if they actually played outside or did sports. Other games don't have such benefits, and violent video games have been shown to increase kids' aggressive behavior.

Like a lot of aspects of raising kids, when it comes to video games, the healthiest approach is moderation.

For kids and teens 5 to 18 years, experts recommend that parents place limits on time spent using any media. This includes playing video games on gaming consoles, tablets, or smartphones. Using media should not take the place of getting enough sleep or being physically active. So consider setting limits to keep game-playing from interfering with schoolwork, household chores, and the physical activity your son needs every day.

Also, make sure that your son is playing games suitable for his age group. All video games are rated and labeled by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Steer clear of any rated "M" for "mature." Those are for ages 17 and older, and can contain heavy-duty violence, strong language, and sexual content.

Keep the video game console in a common area of the house, not your son's room. That way you can catch any inappropriate content in the games he plays, and he'll be in a position to interact with others. Also pay attention to time spent playing games on smartphones and tablets.

Make sure your son has other appealing choices: sports, activities, chances to socialize with friends, and downtime to be creative. If you still have concerns about his video game activity, talk with your doctor.

Reviewed by: KidsHealth Medical Experts
Date Reviewed: 00-00-0000

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.