Is it true that playing video games can help children learn to empathize?

By | December 1, 2018

Children really like playing video games. Well, now there are many exciting video games that can be played alone or crowded with friends. Most parents know that video games have a bad influence on children’s development. Not a few games indeed video games that tend to contain elements of violence, such as exchanging gunshots or punching each other. But according to the latest study, the positive playing video games can help children learn to empathize. Why?

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Video games that build children’s empathy

Many studies have looked at the possible adverse effects of video games for children’s health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also recently linked addictions to playing game  as a characteristic of psychiatric disorders.

However, researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison tried to explore the positive side of this electronic game. They experimented with designing a new video game called Crystals of Kaydor for children to play. This game tells the story of aliens stranded on alien planets because their shuttle airlines were damaged.

The study , led by Richard Davidson, PhD, aims to stimulate the ability of children to empathize without making them addicted.

Well, children who play this console get a mission to ask the inhabitants of the planet to communicate by using their facial expressions.

Researchers continue to observe these children for 2 weeks playing games. The results show that the game stimulates the child’s brain to share experiences and change their perspective to be able to empathize.

The research team still needs more in-depth observations about how the game console can hone children’s empathy. Moreover, not all children who play the game feel the same effect.

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Actually, empathy is important?

Empathy is the ability to understand what other people feel and think while understanding their condition as if they themselves feel, think about, and are in that situation.

Empathy is the basic ability that must be mastered by everyone to establish and maintain relationships with their surroundings. Without this, children will tend to be indifferent. They do not want and cannot feel the suffering experienced by others, or show remorse after hurting others. Conversely, children will often lower, disparage, or exclude others who are in trouble.

If your baby grows without empathy, he will find it hard to make friends. In fact, it could be shunned or disliked by others. This will affect the state of his soul as an adult. He becomes more easily stressed, anxious, depressed, and intends to commit suicide .

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So, should you teach children to empathize with video games?

Playing video games is not the only way to teach empathy to children. Because, not all games in the video gamehave such a positive influence.

Quoted from Health Line , Dr. David Hill, a pediatrician and chairman of the American Academy of Pediatric Council, argues, “The best way to teach children to empathize is face-to-face communication, which is direct guidance between parents and other family members with children to help them understand and deal with various situations.”

But indeed, children more easily absorb information and quickly learn something new from playing. Hill added that  video games are only used as an addition to the learning process. Not used as the main way to teach empathy to children.

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