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Interview with Charles Beckman – Topic: The influence of video games on personality development

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Craig Roberts CEO for Invision Community reached out to Charles Beckman, a college student, studying Psychology, and sat down for an interview, or should we say a talk, about his opinion on the influence of video games, on our personalities, and our development as we grow older.

1) Hello Charles! I suppose you should introduce yourself and tell the reason you want to talk about video games.

Yes, sure. My name is Charles Beckman. I am a college student studying Psychology and a part-time guest writer. I would like to talk about the influence of video games on personality development as it’s something that causes much controversy. I am myself a huge fan of video games and want to tell why they are not so bad for kids and why parents must change their minds about limiting their children in playing.

2) That’s interesting. Did your parents control your playing time?

Of course they did. There is a common stereotype among parents that video games make children violent and worsen their grades. But that’s not true. I’m not saying that parents should let their kids play as much as they want. But there are facts that prove gaming useful for some skills and that must be taken into account.

3) Actually I had the same situation with my parents but I used to sneak out to my friend whose mom and dad were at work. It was fun back then. But why are you talking about this now? Do you parents still try to limit you?

No, thanks God. In fact, looking from this side, I am pretty grateful that they’ve taught me to prioritize. Of course, I sometimes play when I really have time but studying and working makes it almost impossible. And that leads me to the reason I’ve decided to talk about this. I have a younger brother who’s still in a secondary school and history’s repeating. My parents tell on him spending too much time on video games and he boils over the fact that he wants to play but can’t. I fully understand him and want to help because when he is older he won’t have time for this. He has the right to enjoy it now☺

4) Ok. So you have a mission of an older brother to bring justice for your younger sibling. That’s how real bros do it. That’s great. I suppose he thinks that you are the best brother in the world. Ok, and now let’s get down to business. Tell the whole world of parents why video games can improve children’s development and help your brother.

Well, the fact that I work as a freelance writer gives me the opportunity to research a lot. As I mostly write about education, I very often come across issues connected with the place of video games in studying process. There have been conducted tons of researches that prove positive effects on children’s development. Firstly, video gaming boosts concentration and makes it easier to focus on tasks and instructions. The main goal of young players is to win so they try to be attentive all the time not to miss any detail. Secondly, playing develops multitasking and problem-solving skills. Usually, in video games, kids need to do several things simultaneously while tracking the progress of the game. This makes them real strategists and planners who, after another fail, don’t stop looking for a winning move. It seems to them that everything’s possible and there is a solution to any problem. That’s a very useful skill. And, thirdly, video games improve children’s prosocial behavior. They are more content with life and feel happier. Gaming reduces hyperactivity and conduct problems. In other words, children are less aggressive.

5) Less aggressive? But what about “video games spread violence” statements?

That’s an interesting question. Dr. Przybylski, an experimental psychologist from Oxford University, has conducted a very exciting study. Its findings argue that violent games’ influence on child’s mentality is very minor. Media entertainment has much more to do with this than gaming. So, no need to worry on that account.

6) So you’re saying that parents should let their kids play video games whenever they want to.

No. It’s actually not healthy. Dr. Przybylski states if children play only 1-2 hours a day, they will benefit from that. Video games improve spatial skills and also encourage analyzing not only things happening on the screen but also in their head. They learn how to analyze their deeds, what is wrong and what can be done better. And, according to the study, children who played for about an hour every day didn’t fight at school and were praised by teachers for a good behavior. I think that’s something that must be noted.

7) Ok, so let’s do the summarizing. Video games are good for children’s development. They boost various social and mental skills that improve personality development in the modern world. But all that works out well if children play no more than 2 hours a day. Am I right?

Yes, you are right. The results of various studies say that when kids spend more than 3 hours playing video games a day, they really can have some troubles with behavior and performance at school. That’s when parents’ control becomes handy. But that’s not the main point I want to deliver.

People must understand that nowadays video games are an integral part of a youth culture. So, eradicating them from children’s lives completely is not beneficial. Moreover, taking into account all the positive effect of regular and smart playing children learn to plan and solve tasks efficiently. Isn’t that good enough?

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