Video games have long been the whipping boy when it comes to bemoaning children's activity schedules, with TV grudgingly accepted as a necessary evil. New Australian research suggests that it should be the other way around.
The ABC reports on a University of Queensland study that investigated the amount of time that young people spent watching TV and playing video games. Most kids between two and five years of age exceeded the recommended limit of one hour per day. As a parent, I'm not as shocked by that revelation as I am that this might not be a big problem per se. Video games were cited as being beneficial in boosting children's self-esteem, mental faculties and physical development, albeit not in isolation.
There's still a call for moderation, which is fair enough; none of us should spend 100 per cent of our time on any one thing at all. Still, the next time you get into a silly argument about whether video games are a negative influence, you now have science on your side.
As a total aside, if nothing else, it's quite refreshing to see mainstream reporting on gaming research not head straight for the sensationalist angle. Sadly, I can't embed the video of the report, but it's well worth watching via the link below. [ABC]
Kids photo by Shutterstock.