You’ve heard it all before – video games can cause violent tendencies in children, video games inhibit the development of social skills, et cetera. But as with all things, video games has its benefits. Before you tell your kids to get off the Xbox, here are some reasons why you should let them play video games:
1. Video games improve coordination and reflexes
Studies have shown that playing computer games (irrespective of genre) produces reductions in reaction times and improved hand-eye co-ordination. This advantage will become apparent in physical activities like sports and dance, or even in jobs requiring high levels of precision.
2. Video games teach strategic thinking
It’s not as simple as Tetris anymore – strategy games, such as Sim City, require players to think ahead of the current situation and plan their progression, to the extent of preparing for unforeseen circumstances. This is an essential skill, from sports to starting a business in future.
3. Video games shape interests and imagination
In the virtual world, you can be whatever you want to be – and that’s where the imagination flourishes. Games like The Sims, World of Warcraft or Minecraft let users decide how to build imaginary environments and live alternative lives.
4. Video games teach time management
Video game addiction aside, farming games are a brilliant way for children (and adults) to learn to manage their time. In addition, the very nature of letting children play video games imparts its own lesson: make sure you’re doing your homework and getting good grades as well.
5. Video games promote adaptive learning
Numerous video games work on the basis of levels and skills – your strengths and weaknesses in the game translate into different character classes, different level access, and so on. This helps children to understand that learning is not about a singular grade, but about aptitude at different topics and skills.
6. Video games teach teamwork and social skills
With the Internet connecting PCs and game consoles worldwide, video games have been able to expand into real-time multi-user gameplay that requires users to make friends, create teams, and work together even with competing players to achieve goals. While this in no way replaces face-to-face social interaction, video games today certainly won’t turn your child into an antisocial loner.