For quite a long time, video games have invaded toy store racks. Producing an assortment of games that cover everything from racing to activity to motion pictures, diversion console makers have taken advantage of an extremely lucrative industry. Despite the fact that the prevalent expression “a lot of something to be thankful for” applies when it comes to video games, studies have shown that a considerable segment of games can be helpful to the brain.
There has been a lot of talk about how terrible it is for kids to play video games. People buy the games for their children one moment and curse them the next. Yet there are many reasons why playing these games actually help kids to develop.
Probably the biggest advantage kids have when playing video games is that they learn how to solve problems. These games are full of one problem after another, and the player cannot advance to the next level until each one of them is solved. The problem may be that an obstacle stands in the way of reaching the goal, in which case the player must figure out a way to overcome that obstacle.
That leads to the skill of being able to test hypotheses. For example, a player might come to a monster that cannot be killed. The player might say to himself, “I wonder what would happen if I jumped over the monster?” He would then try that very thing. If it didn’t work, he might come up with another hypothesis, like “If I throw rocks at the monster I can distract him and pass.”
The persistence required to keep trying new hypotheses is only one way players learn to keep working at something. The child might play video games in which the movements needed to complete a level require a high degree of skill. The player who keeps trying until he gets it down can translate that dedication to other tasks in life.
Video games help kids to develop lightening fast thinking skills. If you can harness the energy they generate in playing the games for schoolwork, they will have a better chance at success. The key is to promote balance between the required work and the games. It also helps to foster the idea that learning is fun as well.
Kids who play video games show how capable they are of accomplishing great feats of memory. They have to remember every aspect of each level in order to get back to the high level they were at a second time. Even within one game, there will be hundreds of rules, motions, and directions they must remember to get from point A to point B.
Players who get far in video games learn how to manage their resources. If it is a fantasy game, they will learn how to conserve their life supply. In a driving game, they might learn how to save on gas or tire wear. In a shooting game, they might have to learn to be sparing with their ammunition.
All in all, there are many ways that video games can help kids during their formative years. Problems only arise when these games take over the children’s lives to the exclusion of schoolwork, friends, physical activity, and family. If you limit their use, the video games themselves can actually be quite helpful.