As parents, we are wired to protect our children from anything that we believe can affect their well being in a negative way. Any kind of exposure perceived as harmful to our child’s development, we try to completely eliminate it from their environment. This is true especially when it comes to playing video games. While online search will fail to give you much on the positive effects of video games for kids, recent researches prove that there are numerous health and educational benefits of video games.
Contrary to traditional belief, a large-scale study in Holland concluded that children who had computers in their room were more likely to play outside than those who did not have such easy and private access. Another study proved that video games connect young people with their peers and to society at large, and promoted social interactions and friendships.
Meta-analyses of many studies have concluded that there is little or no evidence at all of violent video games leading to real-world violence in kids. In focus groups and surveys, when asked what they liked about video games, kids playing video games refer to the freedom they get to make their own decisions, an opportunity to prove of being capable of self-direction and exhibit extraordinary skills and competence. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that video games are like all other forms of true play.
14 benefits of kids playing video games for your child’s growth:
1. Teach Problem-Solving Skills and Creativity:
Video games have shown to have many positive effects on the brainpower. They can build problem-solving skills. Researchers believe that kids playing video games like 2048 puzzle, and role-playing games like World of Warcraft show improvement in three key areas: planning, organization, and flexible thinking. Rules and guidelines ensure that kids think carefully and make split-second decisions in order to advance to the next level.
Video games can boost creativity, especially among kids in middle school. Modding, a process by which kids playing video games can customize a character’s appearances and develop new game levels enables creative self-expression and new ways of highlighting personalities and interests.
2. Inspire Interest in History and Culture:
Surprising as it may sound, the content of certain video games can encourage kids to read and research further. Games like Civilization, Age of Mythology and Age of Empires can generate interest in various topics such as world history, geography, ancient cultures, and international relations. With parents’ involvement and motivation, kids playing video games like these can have a lot of educational benefits. Kids can learn a wide range of complex languages, content, and connections that can prepare them for future complex learning, and acquire creative and technical skills while having fun.
3. Help Kids Make Friends:
Most young kids see video games as a social activity. It not only provides them a common ground to make friends but also a topic for conversations. Research also found that children with mild learning disabilities who find it difficult to socialize easily in the real world play video games to make new friends.
4. Encourage Exercise:
Most of the parents believe that video games make children lethargic. On the contrary, sports video games generate interests in kids to play them outside on the fields and try and practice different play moves that they learn in the video games. Some children even take up a new sport after they have played their video game version. Playing sports video games can actually lead to an increased time spent on playing sports and exercising in real life.
5. Kids Share the Joy of Competition:
Competing with peers to build status and recognition of their own is normal and healthy among children, especially when it comes to boys. Video games provide an opportunity especially to kids who are not good at sports to express their competitive urges.
6. Give Kids a Chance to Lead:
While playing video games in groups, children have a common goal of leading their team to victory. This motivates them to identify the strengths of the team members and take turns to lead or follow. These video games help the kids to develop leadership skills like motivating, persuading and resolving issues within their team.
7. Provides an Opportunity to Teach:
Teaching others builds social and communication skills. More often, kids approach each other seeking help to advance certain levels in a game. Children who can solve toughest parts of a game gain status and recognition among their peers and enjoy being approached for guidance by other players.
8. Improves focus:
The common belief is that video games have a negative effect on children’s attention span. However, there are pieces of evidence, from the research, that suggest otherwise. According to brain scans, kids playing video games regularly are able to filter distractions better compared to kids who do not.
9. Reduces stress:
Video games with simple graphics, which do not require a lot of thinking and do not take a long time to play seem to improve mood and relax anxiety. They help to relax. The reason seems to be the fact that they make it easy for the kids to be successful.
10. Improves coordination:
While playing a video game, the activities and actions on the screen provide a lot of mental stimulation. It is not inactive staring at the computer but requires for the kids to coordinate their visual, audial and physical movements.
11. Enhances memory:
Kids playing video games have a good memory, both short term, and long term, in multiple ways. For one, it requires both visual and audial memory to succeed. Other ways include having to memorize the rules and instructions throughout the game and mastering the keyboard controls to make the moves in the game.
12. Improve the brain’s speed:
Video games provide multiple stimulations, both visual and audial to the brain. These stimulators ensure that the brain is continuously working to interpret them. According to research, kids playing video games more can process a load of information faster than others.
13. Enhance Multitasking Skills:
Moving the joystick or keys and simultaneously observing elements such as energy levels, ammunition left, available time etc. are all important to win a game. This helps the kids to develop observational skills and ability to react at the same time to all the factors in that game.
14. Are Great Source Of Learning:
Today, many educational institutions are leveraging educational benefits of video games as a teaching methodology. Video games specially designed to have a fun way of approach to learning can help improve creative and cognitive skills of children.
The Special Benefits of MMORPGs:
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games. In this, a large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world. They are complex, multifaceted and provide greater opportunities for creativity, problem-solving and socialization.
The players require to create a character or an avatar that possesses a unique and complex set of physical and psychological traits and assets. It calls for imagination and deeper understanding of required skill sets to win the game and experiment with different personalities.
The complex virtual world of MMORPGs is occupied by a number of other players from anywhere across the globe who can either become your friends or foes. Making friends within these video games require similar skills as making friends in the real world. You have to abide by the etiquette of the culture, know the goals of the potential friend and help to achieve them.
3. Simulation to work life:
Special-interest groups called guilds in these games are similar to modern day organizations. Guilds have a structure similar to companies in the real world with executive boards and leaders. To become a part of the guild, players need to go through a selection process much similar to applying for a job in the real life corporate world.
4. Leadership Skills:
An IBM Corporation commissioned study concluded that the leadership skills exercised within MMORPGs are essentially the same as those required to run a modern company.
Parenting children into mature, sensible adults who are capable of making life decisions for themselves is what every parent aims to do. By providing them with multiple choices and the opportunity to choose how they spend their free time will help kids to become independent. Even as kids, they can decide which activities are beneficial for them. Positive parenting will ensure they make the best use of video games. You just need to trust their choices