It’s clear that families need to be mindful of their kids’ device use, as some children have a hard time shutting down or transitioning off video games and can even experience mood swings during or after play. However, gaming has some great benefits, from improved problem-solving to enhanced spatial visualization.
Already, games are becoming an essential component of homeschooling. Besides allowing kids to learn skills like coding, video games can also improve their social, decision-making, and critical thinking skills. So today, Unruly News presents a few things you need to know about video games and children.
According to a study published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, children who play video and online games regularly had 1.75 times the chances of high intellectual functioning and 1.88 times the odds of overall high school competence than kids who do not play.
While kids can play certain games solo, many choose to enjoy gameplay with friends. Whether the interaction is in person or through a screen, video games create and encourage social skills in children. Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Minecraft are excellent games that amplify kids’ social skills.
This may be the most widely known advantage, but it is extremely important for young children in crucial development stages. Products that help kids develop motor skills best include video games like Fruit Ninja Kinect and Wii Fit.
From deciding whether to play as evil or good in a role-playing game like Skyrim or creating a growth strategy in games like SimCity, decision-making abounds in almost all video and online games.
A study found that dyslexic children who played action video games had an enhanced ability to read faster and more clearly. Although a single study shouldn’t be used to make deductions, this particular research cited in Current Biology is extremely promising for kids with learning disabilities.
Numerous video and online games revolve around strategic thinking. Kids need to develop plans and strategies to determine how they will go to the next level and ultimately win the game. Games like Starcraft and Civilization allow children to build these skills by requiring players to think on their feet and reason logically to overcome various obstacles.
Most websites feature online games that may or may not be appropriate for children. This is why it’s necessary for parents to monitor their kids’ online activities and always choose age-appropriate titles. Some methods include setting parental controls, passwords, and screen times.
Also, tech challenges can be an issue, especially if you also have to use the internet connection simultaneously. Ensure the connection is stable and works smoothly. Purchase a pair of headsets for gaming so the rest of the household will avoid being disturbed by the background music and noises during gameplay. Headphones, especially, can be an excellent option for your kid if they are involved in educational gaming.
The Entertainment Safety Ratings Board (ESRB) was created to keep video games with graphic violence and mature content out of children’s hands. Learning what the ratings mean will help you choose the appropriate game for your kid. Some games children should not play include Grand Theft Auto V, HuniePop, Mortal Kombat, and South Park.
Many kids want to play the games their friends are playing, and staying up to date with games is an excellent way for children to find something to discuss. However, some parents do not pay close attention to their kid’s online activities. Always research a game before allowing your children to play it, and remember to use parental controls as appropriate.
Video and online games can help children develop many skills, sharpen cognitive functions, and even boost learning. Still, carefully select the games they play as some aren’t appropriate for children of all ages.