My son loves video games. He spends hours every day in his room playing them. Is there any educational value to video games? Some seem like they could help him learn strategy. But I worry that others may be too violent.– Scottie Some games might improve kids' hand–eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Video games that require kids to actually move or manipulate the game through their own physical movement can even get sedentary kids moving — but not as much as if they actually played outside or did sports. Other games don't have such benefits, and violent video games have been shown to increase kids' aggressive behavior. Like a lot of aspects of raising kids, when it comes to video games, the healthiest approach is moderation. For kids and teens 5 to 18 years, experts recommend that parents place limits on time spent using any media. This includes playing video games on gaming consoles, tablets, or smartphones. Using media should not take the place of getting enough sleep or being physically active. So consider setting limits to keep game-playing from interfering with schoolwork, household chores, and the physical activity your son needs every day. Also, make sure that your son is playing games suitable for his age group. All video games are rated and labeled by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Steer clear of any rated "M" for "mature." Those are for ages 17 and older, and can contain heavy-duty violence, strong language, and sexual content. Keep the video game console in a common area of the house, not your son's room. That way you can catch any inappropriate content in the games he plays, and he'll be in a position to interact with others. Also pay attention to time spent playing games on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your son has other appealing choices: sports, activities, chances to socialize with friends, and downtime to be creative. If you still have concerns about his video game activity, talk with your doctor. Back to Articles Related Articles Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games, and the Internet TV, interactive video games, and the Internet can be excellent sources of education and entertainment, but too much plugged-in time can have unhealthy side effects. Read More How Media Use Affects Your Child Technology can be part of a healthy childhood, but it's important for parents to track their kids' screen time and set limits. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Teens Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your teen? Get advice here. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your baby or toddler? Get advice here. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Preschoolers Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your preschooler? Get advice here. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Big Kids Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your big kid? Get advice here. Read More Can Video Games Give People Motion Sickness? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Kids and Exercise Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges. Read More Are My Kids Watching Too Much TV? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Are Video Games Bad for Me? You love your video games, but how much is too much? Find out in this article for kids. Read More Be a Fit Kid A lot of people talk about fit kids, but how do you become one? Here are five rules to live by, if you want to eat right, be active, and keep a healthy weight. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.