Do video games have cognitive benefits for children?

A recent study found children who play video games for three hours a day or more seemed to have better impulse control and memory. That was compared to children who did not play video games.

So, what does that mean for parents?

“It’s certainly counter to most of the information that we get from elsewhere that too much video gaming or too many encounters with screens is not necessarily good, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics has placed limits on kids watching screens,” explained Dr. Michael Manos, a pediatric psychologist for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Manos said while the results of this study, which examined 2,000 children ages 9 and 10 years old, are encouraging, there are still a lot of factors to consider, like how the measurements were taken.

And more importantly, how the results translate into the real world.

He said when a child spends too much time in front of a screen, or in this case playing video games, they’re missing out on socialization.

Socialization is very important for a child when it comes to developing not only social skills but use of language and understanding feelings.

His recommendation for parents would be to continue limiting screen time.

“Relating to screens though it may improve brain functioning, does not necessarily mean that it enables someone to be able to relate to others effectively. I think that’s the key,” Manos said.

The researchers of the study did note that more work needs to be done on this topic.

They also plan to look further into how video games can impact a child as they mature.