Video Games May Hinder Child Development

Dr. Geoff Potter, a UVic educational faculty member, claims that children who play games run the risk of becoming less creative and less literate as adults. He says games, when combined with a lack of educational and extra-curricular stimulation, may impede an important step in a child’s development and may disturb the imaging process that helps children learn to read. “There are many factors that influence learning to read, and one of them is a process called imaging, which involves creating images in the mind from the neutral words on a page,” says Potter, who studies the impact of television on children. The imaging process has a lot to do with a child’s ability for creative thinking, problem solving, social interaction, and for developing a sense of colour and depth. “We each create different images associated with our own life experience. What happens when a child encounters a game or a television program, is that there is no capacity for imagination. They have no choice but to accept someone else’s idea of what a person or action looks like. The child’s imaging process stops, and from the point of view of learning psychologists, this is problematic.”

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Keywords: video games, children, development

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