Video games get a bad rap.
All of the experts will have you think that video games will rot the minds of our youth. We’re being told as parents to limit our kids’ screen time to an hour a day.
Really? Only an hour?
That amount of time is enough for one prime time show with the family or two shows on Disney. That doesn’t include time to play with the Wii or the DS. That doesn’t allow any time for working on the computer either. I’m no expert, but I would say our kids would be better off if we just monitored what they are playing and watching. Obviously no one wants their child glued to the TV or video game all day, but I don’t think 4-5 hours a day doing various things is a big deal.
Check out 10 ways video games help kids.
- Develop hand/eye coordination: Video games do an amazing job of developing our kids’ hand/eye coordination. The skill that they have to figure out how far and how fast they need to jump in order to land in just the right place. The examples are endless. Nearly every video game works on hand/eye coordination.
- Problem solving: Many of the games include an element that must be figured out in order to win the game. Not just win the game, but to progress through the various levels. Games like Diabolical Box contain complex puzzles all throughout the game that have to be solved in order to get all of the pieces to solve the end mystery.
- Spatial awareness: Figuring out how to maneuver through mazes and worlds collecting coins or objects or tools is difficult. The trick is to be aware of where you are and where you have already been because these games are timed as well. You can’t spend all day going over and over the same landscapes.
- Logical thinking: Various games will require kids to figure out the logical progression of how a game works. If I do this then I’m able to achieve higher results than if I don’t use any of the tools. Something to that effect.
- Teaches strategy: Soccer on a video game is a lot like soccer in real life. The same strategies that are used on the video game can be incorporated on the real soccer field. Playing the game kids learn which players are the best players and who will score the best against a particular team or defender. The more the child plays the game the more strategies they will learn.
- Decision making: Kids constantly have to make decisions while playing a video game. If they make the wrong decision their character loses a life. They have to decide which road to take and which tool to use. They need to be able to make split decisions on the spot in order to progress in the game.
- Learn a foreign language: So many of the video games are created in Asian countries and many of the game’s words throughout the game are in a foreign language. Kids learn these words. Can they carry on a conversation in Chinese because they played a video game? No, but learning foreign words often sheds light on your own language.
- Learn history: Many games are based on real life places and things. In SIM games or simulation games you create a civilization, an amusement park or some other setting. Learning from places that exist in real life helps the child create a better SIM world.
- Improving self-esteem: When a child beats a video game or is doing really well on a video game their self-esteem will soar. They are so excited when they complete a level or beat an entire game. This is something they can talk about with their peers at school and they will feel better about themselves when they are able to talk about the different things they went through in the game and how they were able to figure things out.
- Outlet for creativity: There are many games that are related to art and design. Even young children can get in on the act; there is a Barbie fashion game where you can work on creating different looks for Barbie and her friends. Then you can put together a fashion show. The game makes this all possible for a 6 year old to do. The kids just think it’s fun, but they are actually learning great planning and organization skills too.