Surprising Ways Video Games Can Be Educational

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Yes, not all video games are bad. In fact, they have been proven to be beneficial, helping to enhance hand eye coordination, boost memory and enable children to think outside the box. To help your child obtain the most out of their video game habit, supplement everyday life lessons and crucial study skills into every play session.

Video games come in many genres that range from first-person shooters, role-playing games to adventure games and many more – and yes, a wide variety of them aren’t suitable for kids. Which is why it’s important that parents sift through the list of games that are available in stores to see if they are suitable or not.

Like adult themes that are prevalent in many movies today, the last thing your child needs is to be exposed to the dark corners of entertainment. Rather than leaving your child alone to be entertained by the flashing lights that flicker across the screen, take part and engage with them and just have a light banter.

1. Perseverance  

Video games are easily accessible but can be tough to master. Through multiple attempts at making it past a tough stage, or figuring out how to tackle a particular brain teaser, the sense of satisfaction when one solves it is second to none. Over time, this builds perseverance which in turn teaches children to dig deep and not give up easily. The next time your child is worried about failing an upcoming test, remind her that failing is part of growing up and that every setback offers a chance to pick yourself up to try again.

2. Foster teamwork

Literacy researcher James Gee recommends using video games to help teach kids to “collaborate to solve difficult problems.” Video games that share cooperative gameplay encourages kids to set aside their differences and work in tandem to make it past an objective. A game session not only fosters teamwork, it’s also great fun for kids.

3. Problem Solving

It’s true what they say about practice makes perfect and what better way to teach problem solving skills than by engaging in a game. As he may be stumped on a particular stage or question, a quick hint or encouragement may be all he needs to solve it. Some may enjoy indulging in a quick Sudoku session every now and then, while others may prefer the crossword puzzles that are supplemented in daily newspapers – it’s imperative that parents don’t force their kids to partake in leisure activities that they aren’t interested in.

4. Independence

Too much handholding or smothering of affection is bad and can have a detrimental effect on one. Sometimes all we need is a little breathing room to have a little alone time to gather our thoughts. As kids grow up, they will want to start becoming a little more independent and may not want help – even when they need it. Video games are often plastered with helpful onscreen tips that appear when an objective is given or when a player is stumped and starts to wander around aimlessly. Give your child some light reminders by leaving sticky note “hints” to help him get through chores to homework while still supporting his self-reliance. 

5. Research

Part of the reason why video games are so popular is that it’s a gateway to stay fully immerse in world that lets us assume the role of a particular character we have always wanted to be. It is one thing to watch a pirate swash-buckle his way through hordes of enemies but another to actually use a controller to work your way around them. Historical games like Assassin’s Creed or Total War can encourage kids to uncover the facts from behind the game. By checking out the many sites that talk about the deep lore that encompasses a game such as Assassin’s Creed, this will in turn foster a habit of researching at a young age.

As the credits roll

The engaging, highly interactive, fictional worlds of video games are a great avenue for kids to learn and grow. Give your child that extra push into translating games to life lessons, and he might just feel more pumped about solving the challenges that may come his way.

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