Benefits of Video Games For Your Child
There’s a lot to learn and some real life experience that can come from gaming
If you’re not someone that ever got into gaming, you might frown at the idea of your kid sitting in front of the TV or computer plugging away at a game. To some, it comes off as laziness – shouldn’t the kid be playing outside or making friends? Maybe you see it as a waste of time as, after all, your kid could be learning or doing something constructive instead.
Well, what if I told you that there are a lot of benefits to gaming that you don’t know about? The truth is that while gaming can have some ill effects if taken to extremes, there are a lot of benefits too. Here are the benefits of gaming and why it’s not as bad as you might think.
Video Games Teach Problem Solving Skills
If you haven’t kept up with the world of gaming over the past couple of decades, it has changed a lot. Back when video games too off, we had games like Pacman, pong, or any car games. These games were, honestly, time-wasters – they did nothing for us in comparison to games today. Games these days require a lot of problem-solving skills, and they make you think. Games like the Legend of Zelda franchise, for example, will teach your child about solving riddles and puzzles. And the Legend of Zelda series isn’t the only game out there. There are dozens of games for every console and PC that require critical or quick thinking. Even boss fights, as they are called, often require overcoming impossible obstacles. Even if the games aren’t considered “educational,” it doesn’t mean it’s not helping them develop critical life skills that they can use in the future.
Video Games Create Interesting in Culture and History
There are a lot of games out there that are deeply rooted in history. Assassin’s Creed, for example, looks back over various bits of history. In fact, Assassin’s Creed Unity had such a deeply rooted link to history that its developers created one of the most accurate digital representations of the Notre Dame Cathedral ever.
It will even be helpful in the rebuilding process. Other games like Age of Mythology, Civilization, and Age of Empires looks back at other parts of history and teaches your child the basics of how societies evolve.
Video Games Teach Life-Long Strategy Skills
Some modern games like Age of Empires, StarCraft, or, believe it or not, World of Warcraft can all teach the value of strategy and learning to overcome obstacles. Sure, most real-time strategy games are focused around war, but not all of them. And, even if they are, it can still teach valuable skills that can be helpful later in life.
Video Games Help Kids Make Friends and Teaches Cultural Understanding
Gaming isn’t like it used to be. Technology has a big part to do with that, but so does the internet. If your kid is a gamer, there’s a good chance that they play with friends from school, but there’s just as good a chance that they play with friends they’ve never met in real life. Kids that play online meet new people in online matches all of the time, and they can become friends just like you or I made friends when we went out on Friday night.
I even have a friend from Japan that I connected with ten years ago playing Call of Duty online. We’ve never met in person, but we talk on the phone once a week and play a significant part in each other’s life via text messaging and, occasionally, gaming. Through this connection, I not only made a real friend, but I learned about Japanese culture and have a better understanding of what his life is like.
Someday, we hope to meet up in person. The point is that, if I can learn about and accept other cultures from such a scenario, so can your child.
Video Games Can Encourage Healthy Competition
When a kid starts playing games online, whether it be a game like Call of Duty, Fortnite, or something a little more toned down like Need for Speed or Forza Horizon 4, they learn to compete with their peers, even if they are on the other side of the world. They earn recognition from winning; they earn status, and even respect. Kids can safely express competitive urges in games, and this is especially important for kids that aren’t good at or into sports.
Video Games Encourage Leadership Skills
If your child plays team-based games, then every time they play with their team, they are learning some form of leadership skill. Believe it or not, online games honor a ranking structure of some sort. Some guys sit at the top and tell other’s what to do, especially in strategy games. Others sit lower on the totem pole and follow orders or contribute in different ways. It’s quite similar to the way things work in real life, whether your kid is the leader or at the bottom. They can also improve where they sit on the team – another vital skill in life.
Video Games Can Bring You and Your Child Together
Even if you’re not someone who was ever into gaming, even way back in the Atari or early Nintendo days, you can still bond with your child through gaming. As an example, when I was in my teens, I established quite the connection with my father by playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour. He used to Golf before health caught up with him, and by playing the game with me (he saw it and wanted to try one day), we ended up bonding on a whole new level.
We spent countless nights playing a silly golf game and talking about things we’d otherwise never discuss. I learned a lot about him, and he learned a lot about me. Regardless of where your hobbies lie, there’s a game out there than can get your interest, so why not see if you and your child can create a better bond. You never know, it just might bring the two of you closer.