As a follow up to my post ‘Are Video Games Bad for Our Children?’, today I want to write about how video games can be beneficial to our children.
Firstly, to cover a rather obvious point, there are video games made specifically for educational purposes. My own daughter has used a game on her iPad to help her in learning to tell the time. The range of computer and tablet games available provide a great resource for more independent learning.
Further to this, scientific studies have suggested that playing video games can improve visual focus and processing, as well as working memory and attention span. Not only is this great for children, it’s also good for people in every other age group, including us – so grab a controller and join in!
That last point brings me neatly onto my next: video games can be a social activity to be enjoyed as a family. Our current favourite is Disney Infinity. My daughter is still having a little trouble with the controls but we’re seeing constant improvement. This game could be said to improve plenty of important skills – fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, working in a team and strategic thinking.
My favourite kind of video games are the fantasy role playing kind, such as Fable and Dragon Age. I realise that these are not exactly child friendly and it’ll probably be about a decade before I’m suggesting them to my daughter (by which time she’ll want to play current games and my old favourites will be left on the shelf and forgotten) but my point is more about why I love them. I love stories. And these are stories that one can be directly involved in and have some amount of control over. That is just awesome.
What are your (or your children’s) favourite video games? Do you think there’s something to be gained from them?