Video games are a big part of most kids' lives. They love to play games, so they spend a lot of time gaming. Some parents might be concerned with the amount of time their kids spend playing video games. If you're one of these parents, you might be interested in learning how some games might actually be improving certain skills that are important for your child's development. Find out how some games can level up your child's problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, memory and social competence.
Much of the research around the benefits of gaming has been about how playing games impacts problem solving skills. Having good problem solving skills means a person can handle unexpected situations and come up with effective solutions on the fly. Gaming is shown to enhance problem solving skills because many games ask players to do just that: solve problems under unexpected circumstances. Plus, all games come with a set of limitations, otherwise known as rules of gameplay. Working within these limitations to solve problems can give the experience they need to solve real world problems. For younger players, games that encourage simple problem solving skills, like 2048, are a good way to start building problem solving skills early.
Gaming's impact on hand-eye coordination can be broken down into two components: accuracy and response. One study tested gamers and non-gamers on their ability to keep a car in its lane while playing a driving game. Overall, those who played action games more than 1 hour per week tested better at keeping the car in its lane and responding to crosswinds. How can reacting accurately and quickly help in real life? Firstly, it might shorten response times to important visual and audible information, like brake lights or a call to look out. Quicker response times in these situations can be life saving. In this way, playing games could prepare a child with fast reflexes when a quick response matters most.
It might not be something you consider often, but your memory is an important asset. Having a good memory can help you in life's most challenging moments, like when taking a test or going on an interview. So-called brain training games can actually have a positive impact on how well your brain stores information. In one popular study, patients with early signs of memory problems showed improved memory after playing a brain training game. Games where players have to match or identify objects can be easy brain training games for kids. Plus, it can keep them engaged for hours as the difficulty increases with each level.
Play is very important for a child's emotional development. Kids learn about emotions through play, unlike adults, who usually work out emotions in conversation with others. Some research suggests that many of the emotional themes explored in children's play is also explored in many video games. In addition, games can improve overall mood in players. Many players report heightened positivity when playing games that provide a sense of control and loss of self-consciousness. Feeling positive helps improve outlook about the possibility of building supportive relationships. Therefore, encouraging positive gaming experiences in children may help them foster beneficial relationships as they grow older. What's more, many games these days are cooperative play online with many different people. The ability to collaborate with others to solve a problem could come in handy when facing real life challenges.
Gaming Can Be Good
The fact that your child loves video games can be a good thing. In fact, there's a lot of research that suggests gaming can help with developing problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, memory and social competence. It can be as easy as figuring out which games are recommended for developing those particular skills. Do some research into games that can also be beneficial to your child's development. It might be a lot simpler than you think.