Study shows gaming improves peer relationship, problem-solving

On average, teens speed an hour a day playing video games.

ORLANDO, Florida – If you have a teen in your home, you probably worry that they are spending too much time shooting things up or living in a virtual world. But it’s not all bad.

According to a Saint Edward’s University study, playing video games two hours a day improves peer relationships and increases sociality.

Teenager and gamer David Correa said, “I like creative games like Rob-Alan or Minecraft.”

David Correa, 17, is an avid gamer — spending three to four hours a day connected to his screen.

“It helps with distressing,” says Correa.

New science shows video games can help young people with problem-solving.

According to the American Psychological Association, people who play shooter games like Call of Duty improve their capacity to think about objects in three dimensions, just as well as school classes that are designed to enhance the same skill.

More teens reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem solving and school grades the following year. Children’s creativity was also enhanced.

“It triggers something in your head that makes you feel more reactive and more snappy,” David says.

Another stereotype the research challenges is the socially isolated gamer.

“I meet a lot of friends usually,” says David.

More than 70 percent of gamers play with a friend.

David also added, “I met my girlfriend playing Valerie. We started talking, and now we’ve been dating for over a year and a half now.”

The research also showed that video games are effective tools for learning resilience in the face of failure. By learning to cope with ongoing failures in games, the authors suggest that children build emotional resilience they can rely upon in their everyday lives.

However, keep in mind investigators also found that more than nine hours of gaming a week for kids seven to 11 is not recommended and could be linked to social and behavioral problems.

Contributors to this news report include Joe Rehmet and Marsha Lewis, Producers; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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