The writers of AirPlay are pleased to bring you an interesting discussion this month. Parents in the 90s and early 2000s loved to blame video games for crimes and unruly behavior. However, is there merit to this?
Trouble in Game Paradise
Video games have always had a bad reputation with parents through the years. It was often whispered about that those who enjoyed playing video games were lazy and had minds that were very slowly turning to goo.
It does not help that there have been acts of violence in the world that have been attributed to the fact the perpetrators liked to play violent video games. This is a massive disservice to the whole concept of video games. This is like blaming the glass in your hand for housing the liquor that you are actively drinking.
The old beliefs that video game brought nothing good into this world should no longer have a place in modern society. As gamers, we would like to loudly and proudly pronounce that we learned a lot of good things. Here are seven of them:
There are a lot of games out there that need good hand-eye coordination. Fighting games, First person shooters, and basically games that will require you to keep your eyes on the screen while letting your hands do all the actions and reactions, are not bad things.
There will be times in your life that you will need fast reflexes and video games can help the youth with this. Studies have shown that children that play age-appropriate video games enjoy massive benefits in their reflexes and coordination.
Those that utilize sports games like FIFA end up with better coordination than most kids that do not play video games.
Critical and Speedy Decision Making
In life, there will be times where hasty decisions need to be made. These quick decisions still need to be sound and grounded in logic. This takes significant practice in order to do right. Video games—particularly role playing games—help kids to develop the ability to make critical and speedy decisions.
Strategy based games are particularly good at helping children establish critical thinking. When a kingdom’s survival is at stake, you will end up thinking and re-thinking your decisions within a span of seconds and minutes.
A lot of video games now immerse their players in different cultures all over the world. While there should be a healthy amount of skepticism regarding the truthfulness of certain ‘historic’ accounts, a majority of the cultural details are grounded in truth.
Games that focus on the past like Assassin’s Creed make use of historic elements to bring their story to life. This is a good way to help kids and young adults familiarize themselves with historical figures in a way that they are already interested in.
The game of Civilization is a great way to understand the concept of different world cultures and how they can clash.
Importance of Perseverance
A lot of the older video games like Aladdin or Hercules were quite difficult. They did not particularly care if you managed to finish the game or not and stages got progressively harder as the player went on. There will be times wherein the limit of a gamer’s patience and will to continue will be pushed.
Video games can help cultivate the importance of perseverance in young kids. The lesson is: yes, they will fail but in order to get to see what happens next, they need to try again. Many in our generation (Millennials) are able to bounce back because of video games we were able to play as youngsters.
Yes, children feel stress. This is a relatively new concept that most parents often refuse to admit. However, more and more children are being diagnosed with hypertension and depression. This is because of the high expectations that are placed upon them.
Video games can serve to be cathartic form of release that can help children cope with stress. Those that deal with anger often find a few rounds of a fighting game will be more than enough to let the pressure go.
Simulations for Social Interactions
There are video games that are used specifically for nurturing social skills. Studies have shown that young adults that were able to play video games in their youth were well-adjusted and were able to converse with a variety of age groups.
In video games, your characters will end up interacting with a plethora of other people. The concept of online games let kids interact with others in the safety of their homes. So not only do they the social interactions that they need, they can utilize these experiences to further develop the person that they were growing to be.
Stronger Retention Skills
Video games will require their players to remember details early on. This is particularly true for mission based games. Players will need to remember codes or solve puzzled based on clues given several hours before.
Gamers have a stronger ability to retain information. After all, they never know when the information would come in handy.
It is important that old beliefs about video games are dispelled. Much like any form of educational piece of multimedia, video games can offer so much to the youth. While it is true that there are certain titles that are border line rubbish and should be kept away from children, this does not mean that all video games are bad.
What is important is that there is suitable guidance and proper restrictions in the amount of time they are exposed to video games. Parents need to take a helpful and active role in this journey with their children.
There is so much that a child or even an adult can pick up from the well-made titles that are available in the market today. If you happen to have personal experience with video games, what useful things did you learn from it? Pass it on and help dispel the negative connotations!