Video Games are Good for your Kids’ Brains

by Rachel Baker on March 17, 2014

This is a really great article in support of video games.  There are pros and cons, of course, but if you are concerned about your kids, then by all means, sit down and actually play some games with them…not just one, but some.

Human beings are playful by nature. We enter this world as babies, interacting with everything around us. We learn through play and trial and error, both fundamental to games. Humans love solving puzzles which is central to games like Tetris, Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds. We love to build and share, the very essence of Minecraft, which can be described as digital LEGO. Whether it’s playing activity games like Wii Sports (burning calories at the same time), simulation games like Sim City, strategy games like Civilization, or social games like Words with Friends, the experience is likely to be enjoyable and beneficial. Think about the cognitive process of what is happening when games are being played. It’s a case of hands on, minds on. Interactivity puts the player in control of the action, and that is very engaging and powerful.

Playing games is fun and entertaining, but the gameplay experience also combines a broad mix of problem-solving, decision-making, intuitive learning, trial and error, logistics, analysis, management, communication, risk-taking, planning, resource management and computational thinking. Games stimulate the imagination and encourage creativity, curiosity, social skills, concentration, teamwork, community, multi-tasking and hand-eye co-ordination. Who wouldn’t want their children to learn and practice these skills whilst being entertained at the same time? Why do some people think it is impossible to learn while having fun?

Simulation games are used as a training tool for pilots, surgeons, the Armed Forces and other professionals. Game-based learning is a proven success in schools for subjects such as maths. Solving real-world problems in a maths-based game is learning in context and more easily understood.

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