I grew up in an era where arcade and computer games were one of the top three things any kid would put on his/her hobby list. After school my friends and I would rush home to play the latest game we saved our pocket-money for and see who could beat the other person’s score, or get to the highest level.
I enjoyed playing these games but not as much as some of the guys in my class. I remember getting bored from spending a whole afternoon indoors while the football ground, swimming pool and warm sunshine beckoned us.
When I suggested that we head outside to kick the ball around in the sun, some of my mates looked at me as if I was mad…before quickly focusing their attention back on the consoles they were holding.
Today, I occasionally get some stiffness or slight pain in my fingers but I put it all down to the fact that I’ve been typing on a keyboard since the mid-80s…not through excessive gaming. However, according to this article on the Time website, some kids these days may be increasing their risk for joint pain from too much gaming and texting.
That’s not to mention the other potential health ailments as a result of spending their time indoors, instead of playing outside where their muscles can get moving and they can get a healthy dose of sunshine.
There are some arguments suggested that video games improve the player’s hand-eye coordination and visual skills. I personally don’t believe this at all. Playing an instrument or playing any sport involving an object like a bat and ball are much better at improving a person’s coordination and muscle movement.
Video games may help improve a person’s central visual skills, but sight is all about central AND peripheral vision…especially important when driving or simply walking along the sidewalk. If you can’t see (or not realize) that there’s something coming at you from outside your central field of vision, you could be at an increased risk of becoming involved in a serious accident.
There’s nothing wrong with playing a video game for a couple of minutes every so often. However, it’s very important to ensure that the playing period doesn’t involve hours of time (wasted) when the weather outside is sunny and warm.
It may sound like a maternal cliché, but the health benefits of physical activity outdoors in the sunshine far outweigh those spent indoors fiddling with a game console for a few hours.