Ferguson, C.J. “Do Angry Birds Make for Angry Children?  A Meta-Analysis of Video Game Influences on Children’s and Adolescents’ Aggression, Mental Health, Prosocial Behavior, and Academic Performance.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 10, no. 5, 2015, pp. 646-666.
The article by Ferguson argues that games expose children to negative issues such as violence. It claims that when children play video games they become prone to violence and other social evils.  The author argues that games impair relationships that exist between children and their parents. Also, the article states that children spend a major portion of their time playing video games as opposed to doing other constructive activities. Additionally, Ferguson opines that children may lack time to interact with their peers and hence they become destitute of some essential social skills.  This article is relevant to my studies since it enables me to understand the effects of video games on my mental health, prosocial behavior, and academic performance. One of the shortcomings of this article is that it ignores the role that parents should play in regulating children’s access to video games. Instead, the author primarily focuses on how video games affect children. Nevertheless, this article will be insightful in my project where I will be analyzing the relationship between video games and children’s behavior.
Granic, Isabela, Adam Lobel, and Rutger CME Engels. “The Benefits of Playing Video Games.” American Psychologist, Vol. 69, no. 3, 1994, p. 66.
The article by Granic, Adam, and Rutger explores the impacts of video games from a psychological perspective. The authors highlight the negative effects of video games such as violence, depression, and addiction. However, the three authors also investigate the positive effects of video games, which they divide into five major categories: emotional, cognitive, motivational, and social.  The article claims that gaming is beneficial to young children and that it should be encouraged. This perspective will be helpful in developing my research because few empirical studies have explored the benefits of gaming to children. One major shortcoming of the article is that it emphasizes on the benefits of children playing video games without considering the impacts of spending too much time in front of a screen playing video games. In summary, the authors argue that the debate on video games should not be approached from a single perspective because gaming can ease the work of educators and caregivers. This article will form a major part of my work since it introduces a fresh and alternative perspective to the video games debate.
McGonigal, Jane. The Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they Can Change the World. Penguin, 2011.
McGonagall’s book reflects on the impacts of video games on the current generation where a considerable number of young people spend most of their time playing video games. She claims that games have positive effects on humans since they involve expending energy and exercising the brain through psychomotor functions. Also, she cites different games that require advanced coordination and strategic planning as being beneficial to cognitive abilities. In addition, McGonagall argues that games induce a feeling of optimism with regard to our capabilities, which helps in fighting depression.  Therefore, she refutes the traditional notion that gaming is a waste of time or it is associated with laziness by explaining that gamers engage in extensive mental activities. The book is relevant to this line of study because it takes a positive and open minded approach to gaming. Nevertheless, McGonagall ignores the negative impacts of gaming, such as addiction, which draws people to their computers causing them to ignore other important aspects of their lives. In summary, the book is instrumental to the study of the impacts of video games because it explores how mental functions are activated by gaming. This book will play a role of in my research since it offers grounds for the examination of the role of games in the development of cognitive functions in humans.
For decades, psychologists have been concerned with the impacts of games on children. There has been a widely accepted notion that a majority of video games have adverse impacts on children. As a result, most texts on the subject have discouraged indulgence in recreational gaming. The existing body of knowledge alludes to side effects such as exposure to excess violence depicted in the games, which can desensitize the youth to violence. For instance, gun violence popularized by the games may create a notion that violence is a good thing. The alternative argument on video games suggests that these games are beneficial in the development of cognitive abilities among children. According to this school of thought, games enhance the growth of motor skills and coordination, which are essential for the development of mental functions in children.
The nature of video games requires children to have a sharp mind due to the tasks involved in playing the games. For instance, games require a close following of instructions as well as the coordination of more than one activity at the same time. Besides, players are required to use problem-solving skills for them to play successfully and progress through the stages of the game. In short, games teach skills such as assessment of different situations, pattern, recognition, and strategy formulation among others. These skills are important for children since they aid in quantitative calculations which are necessary for mathematics and other disciplines.
Generally, gaming is a controversial issue since there are both advantages and disadvantages of participating in it. In fact, experts have made it clear that playing video games can be detrimental as well as beneficial to young people. However, the researchers fail to address the issue of regulation, which can differentiate between casual gamers and addicts. Also, there are no empirical studies that show suitable strategies that gamers can use to control themselves so that they do not sink into the abyss of addiction. Therefore, there is an urgent and strong need for proper studies that can validate the claims of benefits of gaming and recommend how youth can engage constructively in the practice.
Works Cited
Ferguson, C.J. “Do Angry Birds Make for Angry Children?  A Meta-Analysis of Video Game      Influences on Children’s and Adolescents’ Aggression, Mental Health, Prosocial         Behavior, and Academic Performance.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 10,         no. 5, 2015, pp. 646-666.
Granic, Isabela, Adam Lobel, and Rutger CME Engels. “The benefits of playing video games.”    American Psychologist 69.1 (2014): 66.
McGonigal, Jane. The Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change      the world. Penguin, 2011.