The Effects of Video Games on the Brain

Children who have difficulty with impulse control and regulating emotional responses often feel a sense of calmness when playing video games. It’s as if all their troubles and worries, excessive energy, fast-moving thoughts, and sense of boredom disappear. So, we can understand why kids are drawn to video games. However, there is a lot going on behind the scenes that’s not so helpful.

Electronic Pollution: What’s happening to my brain?   

  • Hormonal disturbance (melatonin, and fight or flight hormones – Amygdala)
  • Neurochemical dysfunction (release and then depletion and withdrawal of dopamine – Basal Ganglia)
  • Disorganization of circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle)
  • Electromagnetic radiation due to screens, downloading, and electricity
  • Movement of blood flow away from the frontal lobe and cortex, which govern executive functioning and higher order thought processes.

Excerpted from

Typical Responses

  • Time management problems
  • Complaints of being “bored”
  • Decreased interest in other activities
  • Agitated/irritable mood when asked to stop playing
  • Resistance to authority due to feeling deprived of video games
  • Cravings for more video games

From Pollution to Solution: How to manage screen time

  • Provide structure – keep organized and consistent time frames for use
  • Screen time comes after daily tasks are accomplished
  • Incorporate educational games into screen time to reduce the repetitive and over-stimulating influence of other games Increase outdoor activity
  • Have a variety of engaging activities available
  • Join your child in starting these activities, if he/she is having trouble getting started independently

2 Responses to “The Effects of Video Games on the Brain”

  1. April 25th, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Cabinet sector 4 says:

    Cheers, I appreciate it!

  2. August 10th, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Nancy Olson says:

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

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