USC students study pros, cons of video games

The Psychology of Video Games is May session course at USC.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- There are an estimated 183 million gamers in the U.S., and Adam Hutcheson is one of them.

The great things about video games are they serve as an instant motivator for learning, says Hutcheson, a psychology instructor at USC.

Hutcheson is currently teaching a course at USC called The Psychology of Video Games, which looks at the potential negatives of gaming, but also focusing on the positives.

I really wanted to just take a step back and think about the broad implications of video games on thought and behavior, Hutcheson says.

Gaming can improve memory, problem-solving skills, and in young children, it can enhance language capabilities, according to Hutcheson.

When it involves multiple players, it encourages both teamwork and individual effort.

I have fun playing them and it hasn TMt caused me any harm or anybody I know, says USC student Robert Fox, who is taking Hutcheson TMs class.

Critics say video games are designed to be addictive, promote violence, and can lead to confusion of fantasy and reality.

While not all video games are created equal, experts recommend parents to monitor the types of games their children are playing and how much time is spent doing so.

Hutcheson adds it's important to remember that video games get people to use their brains, even if you're not playing them.

Tell us what you think. Do you believe video games are bad for people TMs health or can gamers benefit from playing them? Leave a comment below.