Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Is playing computer games and watching TV actually good for your brain?

TV and computer games have a bad reputation for stealing people's social lives and dulling their minds, but is there a good side to watching countless hours of TV and playing PS3 late into the night?

I grew up addicted to TV and my parents had to wean me off using a special token system. I did house work in return for TV tokens!

They were concerned that by watching too much TV I'd rot my brain, but I think the opposite has been true. I think it encouraged my imagination and inspired me to follow the career I have. My brother was a computer addict and now works with computers as a career and has a real gift for it. Are we exceptions?

I'd love to know what New Zealanders think about this.

You can find more information about me on the Yahoo!Xtra Answers blog: http://nz.blogs.yahoo.com/answers/51/jaquie-brown-...

174 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Like most things, if done in moderation, it can't be bad for you.

    I'm a single mother of four children under 8 years of age. While we don't own a Playstation (or anything like it) we do have a computer hooked up to Broadband and I do let the children use it at their leisure. We have screeds of DVDs and videos and, yes, I let them watch them too, at their leisure. They get to watch the children's programmes in the mornings (if we aren't out the door racing off to different activities) and they get to watch the family movies (tasteful and not misleading). Occassionally they watch the odd epsiode of Supernanny or that vet programme that used to be on (and the like). And yes, my oldest child, an 8 year old girl, also likes watching Shortland Street. She is very dramatic, loves being on stage and I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up with a part in Shortland Street. And to be honest I don't think it's harming any of their brains. As a mum, it is my responsibility to monitor what they watch or play, how long they do it for and provide them with an alternative.

    Yes, they are learning when they are playing computer games and watching TV. My five year old son is a confident PC user. Now, at 5, I wouldn't have known what a PC was. They are extending their imagination and their sense of humour. They are being inspired by some great characters. They are, in a sense, broadening their horizons through their computer games and TV. Some Walt Disney movies have really good "values" and having incorporated some of Supernanny's rules in our home, Jo Frost has become our friend (if not my Idol!!!!). It isn't all that bad!!

    However, there is another side to the coin. There are those that will play and watch until their eyes hurt. Day in and day out. And they aren't watching or playing "warm and fuzzy" things either. It's all blood and guts and gore. Unnecessary violence that is out there in the community, in the newspapers, on the radio and on the news. Why have games and TV to further expose them to the great tragedies that happen in real life? I cannot see how this could be good for your brain. Unless that is the sort of person you want to become or create.

    There is so much more to being quick on a remote control and channel surfing. In order to be a well-rounded, stable human being, you need to dabble in a variety of experiences. Reading a book is a skill that we need to learn in life. Trips to the library or the museum. Nature walks outside. Swimming in the ocean. Going on a bush walk. Taking the bus instead of the car. Biking. Climbing a tree. Painting the fence. Kicking a ball around. Having a pillow fight. Jumping in puddles. Doing a rain dance. And, you know, at 30 years of age, I'm not too old to do any of these things.

    So, I will say it again. If done in moderation, it can't hurt you. As long as there is variety, good positive role modelling and love and nurturing, we can't go wrong.

  • 4 years ago

    V & computer games may lead to an unhealthy addiction which isolates you socially but at least you can concentrate for hours on end. There is the need for parental monitoring, yeah right, who has the time to do that 24/7. TV and computer games are the glorified nanny's who keep children intrigued for hours, changes personalities with a flick of a button, influences attitudes whether negative or positive, on call 24/7 at your disposal, never judgmental or critical yet makes you feel you are in control at all times, false hopes? What more do you need. TV and computer games have there place because learning comes from what you visually see and acting upon it, but when it can't be differentiated between reality and fantasy then we are in trouble. Some have cleverly made a career out of so called negative ideals but do I dare say that watching excessive amounts of TV and playing computer games will make

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hey-

    I Kind Of Lean Both Ways I Suppose, I Was Addicted To Grand Theft Auto A Little While Ago, I Was On It Every Day After School And Played Late Into The Night. And On That Game You Can Get Your Character To Walk Out Infront Of Cars And They Instantly Stop For You? Well One Day I Was About To Cross The Road And A Car Was Coming Towards Me And I Had The Sudden Urge To Step Out Infront Of It, And I Suppose I Just Expected It To Stop For Me?! The Realization Hit Me And I Got The Shock Of My Life, That Playing Too Much Grand Theft Auto Had Made Me Think That The Car Would Just Stop When I Walked Out In Front Of It. Before That Incident, I Had Always Disagreed With The Statement That TV And Playstation Made People Act Diffrently, But Now Im Not So Sure... This Was After About 2-3 Months Of Playing It Non-Stop. I Had Never Expected Myself To Act Like That. So I Suppose You Can Play A Reasonable Amount, But It Would Be Good For You If You Went Out Once In A While Also, Got Some Fresh Air? I Think It All Depends On How Much Control The Person Has Over Themselves- Me, Obviously Not Very Much.

    Source(s): Previous Experiences.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    V & computer games may lead to an unhealthy addiction which isolates you socially but at least you can concentrate for hours on end. There is the need for parental monitoring, yeah right, who has the time to do that 24/7. TV and computer games are the glorified nanny's who keep children intrigued for hours, changes personalities with a flick of a button, influences attitudes whether negative or positive, on call 24/7 at your disposal, never judgmental or critical yet makes you feel you are in control at all times, false hopes? What more do you need. TV and computer games have there place because learning comes from what you visually see and acting upon it, but when it can't be differentiated between reality and fantasy then we are in trouble. Some have cleverly made a career out of so called negative ideals but do I dare say that watching excessive amounts of TV and playing computer games will make

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    scientific reseach recently veiwed in the sunday star times suppliment suggests that our brains grow with each challenge we put our minds too.

    Challenges - increase brain power, light up new paths...

    Im afraid without meaning to be personal it's an understandable belief of your generation,

    computers T.V. are harmless, since it not only worked for you and your brother but millions of others all around the world.

    It is not how much tv or video games.

    It is unfortuatly the quality

    The appropriate use - on a rainy day a child might spend all day on the thing but when the sun shines it is the parents responsiblity to send the child out to play.

    What t.v. encouraged your imagination and fired your inspiration?

    If we look at films in todays world they are much like books

    First the eleit watch and digest and circulate thier veiws and opions

    Then the people with the inclination and or the money watch at the cinema and add thier veiws and opions

    Then the populus watch the dvd and have thier take

    Then the film hangs on the shelf with the occasional viewing until it is screened on T.V. at which point the film becomes a truth or a tragady in human eveolution.

    The adults of your time did not quite know where the technology was leading...

    Practically all of the children these days are shouting for world peace and the adults think they are mad but are watching where their going with it... because they may be right...

    They argue that tv rots the mind they feel like t.v. is brainwashing people disabling them from acting like humans.

    The children think the adults in power use the t.v as a placebo.

    The question for children today is not wether tv and computers is bad but where is it going

    The New Zealand army appears to have discovered an approprite use for children quick at computer games

    t.v films ect.. are extreemly good teachings of role play - how humans incouter

    Monkey see Monkey DO

    whole generations have been swept along on the visual picture of mans dreams...

    The wizard of oz was the first film to use technicolour and the people exclaimed thier wonder - ecoing round the walls of the picture houses

    Not that long ago people used to see the magic in life

    Star Wars was only a blockbusting movie because the people chose it to be so it was rather underated by the cheifs the populas - the comman man claimed it, they spread the word... hollywood never really managed that feeling again have they?

    Source(s): Myself - living life Age 30 - wicked size 8 Four kids 2 girls 2 boys Great Bloke Very Cold at the moment but very contented have no real material possessions and am in no way a hippy.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Does reading excessive amounts of Mills and Boons have the same rotting affect as watching too much tv or playing computer games? Do each of these have a purpose? Maybe. You hear exerts rave on about the excessive use of TV and computer games but do you ever hear them say, "Don't read too many books it's bad for you". True, excessive amounts of TV & computer games may lead to an unhealthy addiction which isolates you socially but at least you can concentrate for hours on end. There is the need for parental monitoring, yeah right, who has the time to do that 24/7. TV and computer games are the glorified nanny's who keep children intrigued for hours, changes personalities with a flick of a button, influences attitudes whether negative or positive, on call 24/7 at your disposal, never judgmental or critical yet makes you feel you are in control at all times, false hopes? What more do you need. TV and computer games have there place because learning comes from what you visually see and acting upon it, but when it can't be differentiated between reality and fantasy then we are in trouble. Some have cleverly made a career out of so called negative ideals but do I dare say that watching excessive amounts of TV and playing computer games will make me a computer whiz? I tend to think not, only that you'll be good at tv trivia games and have really good eye, hand co-ordination with blisters on your fingers. I think you need to balance these with things like time with family, friends, reading books, hobbies and just enjoying life by not letting it slip by without noticing. Balance is the key:)

  • 1 decade ago

    Quite clearly, you are an exception. Your brother, like yourself, came from the same gene stock and the same nurturing environment (you indicate that your parents did care about your well-being), therefore you were destined to succeed (I'm also extrapolating that the gene stock was good).

    Many children these days grow up with the same habits as you. Some win against the computer; some lose. Some are talented and ambitious; some are, less so.

    The upside is that computer games and such do train children for a present and a future where computers are integral. If only NZ still had a combat airforce so they could truely utilise those joystick skills in the future.

    The downside is that it may well lead to the demise of NZ's rugby dominance due to too much time spent indoors focusing on solo and safe pursuits rather than developing skills revolving around teamwork, not to mention becoming scared of the rain, let-alone mud.

    Priorities, please. OK... balance.

    Paci

  • 1 decade ago

    TV and the internet are useful sources of information and entertainment, but the most important thing you can learn is how to think logically, critically and analytically, and that requires developing reading and counting skills which are more easily gained through traditional channels.

    I also feel the internet encourages a "greatest hits" mentality: people learn the quotes but not the context; listen to the single without appreciating the flow of the album, and so on.

    If we don't accept the "it never did me any harm" argument for corporal punishment, or riding a bicycle without a helmet, maybe we should be careful about accepting it here - although watching too much TV doesn't seem to have done you any harm, I agree.

    However, only about 20 people can be TV presenters at any given time (in NZ, anyway).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hi! Just like food, computers/PSP/PS/XBox and TV etc, everything in moderation. I don't think a few hours a day will rot your mind...people who work with computers all day don't sudenly wake up stupid - ACC would go broke if we did.

    I also think it also depends on the type of stuff you watch/play -it would be only natural when playing agressive games kids get more agressive (I have seen my boys do this) yet when they have watched something like Titanic they are completly different - we see sympathy and lots of question about the movie.

    Personally I am so not into Playstation etc but my husband will sometimes come home and chill out and play for an hour, and this helps him wind down.

    It is all each to one's own...

    I do believe though that if you have a natural talent for TV or computers whether or not you were allowed to watch it for 1 hour or 20 you will end up employed in a related field.

    So Jackie I think you were probably destined to be a TV personality because it's you, what you are naturally good at and people enjoy sharing in your talent.

  • 4 years ago

    Is playing computer games and watching TV actually good for your brain?

    TV and computer games have a bad reputation for stealing people's social lives and dulling their minds, but is there a good side to watching countless hours of TV and playing PS3 late into the night?

    I grew up addicted to TV and my parents had to wean me off using a special token system. I did house work in return for TV tokens!

    They were concerned that by watching too much TV I'd rot my brain, but I think the opposite has been true. I think it encouraged my imagination and inspired me to follow the career I have. My brother was a computer addict and now works with computers as a career and has a real gift for it. Are we exceptions?

    I'd love to know what New Zealanders think about this.

    You can find more information about me on the Yahoo!Xtra Answers blog: http://nz.blogs.yahoo.com/answers/51/jaquie-brown-...

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.