Many parents are scolding their children for playing games and persuading them to communicate with their peers. To them, teenagers seem completely alone and closed, sitting in their room and constantly staring at the monitor screen.
Children need to see each other, communicate on different topics, and walk in the fresh air. Here is how parents think to make friends. They recall with pleasure the endless conversations on the phone. Talk about how they did their homework together, went to sports clubs, or played Monopoly every night.
For most adults, computer games often seem like an empty, frivolous and broken childhood.
Studies have shown that only one-third of teens with mental health problems are defeated successfully. It is maybe due to parents' fears about the high cost of treatment, which is not always covered by insurance, or the fear of children falling into a stigmatized minority group. So, some psychologists are sure that there is another way to help a child - video games.
Coping with memories and anxious thoughts
Scientists have found that simple distraction games like Peggle or Match 3 can improve mood and even help cope with stress or depression. Moreover, good games can even get rid of PTSD. Also, you can use slots without downloading or registration.
In 2010, scientists experimented, inviting 60 completely healthy participants to watch a heavy movie and then play Tetris, a word game, or not play at all. The members of the first Tetris group were found to have fewer bad memories of the movie than the other two groups.
Discussion Topics for Gamers
Several researchers looked into this issue in 2006. They looked at about 6,000 messages sent during an online game and found out if the messages were social-emotional or sent with a specific purpose. Social-emotional messages were those that helped the players communicate. Basically, the phrases expressed joy, gratitude, or agreement with the player.
Solution-oriented messages refer to the game itself answered questions or motivated to play further.
Video games as places of relaxation and comfort
It is worth noting that the tendency to meet new friends can be dangerous for young people. These incidents have decreased significantly in recent years, which is very encouraging. Detailed reports and chat filter capabilities made the Internet safer, but parents are still encouraged to keep an eye on who their kids are getting to know and discuss openly with them what is appropriate and what is not.
Now, as you know, video games have become an indispensable part of childhood - according to research, 90% of children in America aged 2 to 17 play computer games. Indeed, there is nothing shameful in this, and their cost is low. In addition, since children are playing right at home, they can be sure that no one will know what exactly. It is also fun.
Do not think fun is a base part of the treatment, but the pleasure you get only increases the motivation to keep going. All of this suggests that certain video games may help treat mental health disorders. Although the initial results are not so significant, they still show that specially designed computer games can help treat mental disorders - from the mildest to more severe forms.
Healing games build on existing therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, a standard dialogue with the patient is conducted to identify and change inappropriate and illogical thoughts and behavior.
So, researchers in New Zealand created a game called Sparx (Sparks) to treat depression. Throughout the game, children learned relaxation strategies, social interaction, and various ways to cope with negative emotions and situations. And all this under the guise of a fun, fantastic video game.
When comparing the results obtained from trials in which about 200 children participated, it turned out that the same improvements in the mental state were achieved with both playing Sparks and with therapy. There are suggestions that Sparks can be as effective as any other therapy.
Young gamers are spending more and more time playing online games with their peers. For most, this is a positive experience. It allows them to connect with others, even if they physically cannot be with them. It is especially suitable for teenagers who find it hard to spend time with other guys.
The following conclusions can be drawn:
- Video games help youth and adolescents to establish social contact with the public;
- It is in the process of such communication that gamers express their thoughts, convey emotions and find new friends;
- Video games help to cope with mental illness and ailments such as frustration or anxiety;
- The negative impact of video games on the psyche of children is too overestimated.
However, it must be admitted that the first effect of experiments of video games for clinical purposes is too exciting and especially helpful for psychologists working with young patients. The problem of mental health problems among children and adolescents is growing, with rates of depressive episodes and anxiety disorder rising from 20 to 30% in recent decades.
Traditional therapy is undoubtedly effective, but not always the children who need it most can turn to it. And while there is still a lot of research to be done, there is a chance that one day video games will make traditional therapies more accessible, and then children will be not only healthy but also happy.
This unconventional way of communication helps: establish contacts, develop skills and build self-confidence, which are necessary for face-to-face communication. As a result, online video games are a significant part of the lives of young people and adolescents. They should be seen as a source of support.