Whether computer games are good or bad for children is a matter of debate in scientific and parenting communities. Both positive and negative effects have been found by researchers.

Evidence exists which suggests that it is the content of video and computer games and not the games themselves which can impact children positively or negatively. Researchers at Iowa State University discovered that children who repeatedly play violent video games will begin to adopt aggressive behavior over time, and react to real world provocations at school and at home as they would to a threat in a video game: violently. However, in a similar study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that playing video games with pro-social content (portraying caring and cooperative behavior) positively affected the levels of empathy and helpfulness in children and adolescents selected from seven different countries.