Before Christmas, I’m sure there will be many guilty parents who will give their children more screen time to write cards and wrap presents.
But the great news is that video games can be a rich and vibrant source of knowledge. With that in mind, here are my causes why you should let your kids play video games this Christmas and not feel too guilty.
Not so fast, say many parenting researchers and experts. Research has consistently seen that the benefits of playing video games can far outweigh the perceived disadvantages. While video games certainly need to be supervised, there are good reasons why you should allow your kids to spend a few hours a week building cities or fighting aliens. That’s why:
1. Training rules
Video games often require complex rules, a process that researchers liken to developing an understanding of a language’s grammar. So when the kids need to play Fortnite or Pokémon Go, let them, but also talk to them about the rules of the game.
Games are often thought of as isolating, but with the help of the latest connection technologies, children can play alongside their friends and plan a strategy with them, which is believed to help children learn new approaches to play. Problem resolution.
3. Learning to share
Aside from the obvious need for a change, kids enjoy extroverted video games. At Walkley Primary School, one of the MakeEY project research schools in Sheffield, the Hey Duggee Tinsel badge is now universally loved by young children. Children love to take pictures of the Christmas tree that they have decorated to print and show to their parents.
4. Read stories
The way they tell stories is often overlooked in games. Of course, in many action-oriented games, you could forgive the lack of this, so if you’re looking for examples with less conflict, give the beautifully drawn Journey a try.
5. Tell stories
In a recent library project, Storysmash, children used free software called Twine to create their computer game. It was fascinating to see how much they got out of the games they loved in terms of characters, plot, setting, and style.
6. Female role models
Research shows that early encouragement to pursue science and technology can help girls see themselves studying and working in science, technology, math (STEM), and engineering. There are some great games that feature strong female role models, like Bitz n Bob and Detective Dot, who solves puzzles with STEM.
7. Engineering: building blocks
Many popular games like Minecraft involve building and crafting. For younger children, Duplo Town is a good introduction to the creative world of Lego. There are more and more useful 3D design apps for kids like Tinker Cad.
8. Science and sustainability
For older kids, Snake Pass is a physics-based puzzle game that you have to think about from the perspective of Snake Noodle. Sustainable Shaun by Aardman is an ecosystem game in which players must create a healthy environment for some of their favorite characters.
The arts and sciences were not separated at school gates. Ada Lovelace’s musical knowledge helped her see the algorithmic potential of Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. Also, there are many video games that promote creativity and interest in art. On a recent visit to the newly opened National Video Game Museum in Sheffield, I stumbled upon a longtime favorite, the Vib Ribbon, a rather complex musical rhythm game.
10. Imagine a game
Imagining playing is the key to children’s learning and development, and games like Toca Boca, based on fictional worlds, allow children to be convinced that they are playing with everything from pets and cooking to hospitals and movie theaters. . For adults, this type of game is often a distant memory, so if you want to remember it, try 80 Days, which combines role-playing with problem solving and unusual descriptions.
11. Playing fields
Research from the Playtime Project found many similarities between the games children played in the 1950s and those of today. Many children, like then, play in the tiger playground mixed with war games. Many video games are also similar to those that children play together. For example, Hidden People is an unusual alternative to hide and seek in bad weather.
12. Online vs offline
Video games and active play don’t have to be two different things. Research shows how children embrace play ideas in their physical play in the yard, on bicycles, and even on a trampoline. This can come in handy when you think it’s time to take a break. You can suggest an offline action associated with it, like creating a Fortnite journal or inventing a new Pokémon.
So this Christmas, put guilt aside and instead focus on showing interest and encouraging them to play games that will expand their imaginations and teach them new skills.
13 video games are social
The stereotype of a pale-faced teenager sitting in her mother’s basement playing video games is as old-fashioned as Space Invaders. Many games have thriving online and offline fan bases, as well as a community component that strongly encourages social interaction.
14. Video games provide positive reinforcement.
Most video games are designed to be successful and rewarding for gamers. Different skill levels and a risk-reward play culture mean that children are not afraid of failing and will take risks to reach their ultimate goal.
15. Video games teach strategic thinking
Video games teach children to think objectively both about the games themselves and about their own achievements. While many games focus on strategy, most of them set an overall goal and provide the player with multiple ways to achieve it. Players also receive instant feedback on their decisions and quickly recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
16. Video games create teamwork
The vast majority of video games are now designed to be cooperative. Whether it’s fighting alien invaders, solving puzzles, or joining the same sled team, video games offer kids many opportunities to work together constructively.
17. Video games improve hand-eye coordination.
Video games have been found to improve balance and coordination for many patients, from stroke survivors to Parkinson’s. There have even been studies showing that surgeons who regularly play video games make fewer mistakes in the operating room than those who don’t. Even if your child is very healthy and doesn’t want to be a surgeon or a watchmaker, good hand-eye coordination is an invaluable skill.
18. Video games bring families together
If you can’t defeat them, join them. Video games are no more just for kids. Ask your kids to teach you a few moves and you may find that Family Fun Night is just as addictive as the Clue and Monopoly games you used to play as a kid.
19. Video games teach problem solving
Video games make children think. There are dozens of video games specifically designed for learning, but even the simplest shooting game teaches children to think logically and process large amounts of data quickly. Instead of passively absorbing the content of, say, a television show, a video game requires the player to constantly engage in order to tell a story.