Read our latest blog-post for students currently studying psychology for the IBDP from Pamoja teacher, Peter Anthony

How video games affect children and adolescents remains a contested and unresolved issue. Those who oppose video games argue they increase aggressive behaviour, bring social isolation and teach anti-social values.In addition, excessive video-gaming can adversely affect academic performance and lead to poor health.

Others argue video gaming can improve cognitive functions including memory, spatial skills, pattern recognition, analysis and decision-making. No consensus has yet emerged from the psychological research.

The study outlined below provides evidence that video gaming can enhance cognitive skills in young children

Pei-Chi Ho, Szu-Ming Chung and Yi-Hua Lin (2012) investigated how visual cognition could enhance the development of a young child’s learning, especially reading and writing. In particular they wanted to determine the extent to which augmented virtual reality technology could enhance creativity and learning.

The investigators developed an enhanced reality teaching tool called GoGoBox. The game was designed to engage a child’s interest and stimulate the player’s visual abilities, including visual discrimination, visual memory, visual form-constancy and visual closure.

The experimental design involved a pre-test followed by exposure to the GoGoBox followed by a post-test. The investigators used the Motor-Free Visual Perception Test-Revised (MVPT-R) to test the participants before playing the game and then again after 10 hours of playing sessions over five days. Twenty-seven participants were randomly selected from a kindergarten located in Taiwan. Ages ranged from five to six.

The average score on the MVPT-R increased from a pre-test of 59 to a post-test of 64 and was significant at p=<.05. The investigators concluded that digital learning system could enhance young children’s cognitive skills.

Source article here.

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