17 Reasons Why Playing Video Games Are Good For Your Kids
Let's face it: when it comes to kids, video games get a bad rap.
Are you a mom or dad who's wondering whether you should allow your kid to play video games? Do you think letting them play video games will cause them to do bad in school, become socially reclusive, or potentially misbehave?
Well, the truth is, there are two sides to every story. And when we're talking about video games, there are actually some pretty great benefits that your kids can enjoy, if you let them play from time to time.
From increased physical activity, to improved memory and broadened social activity, here are 17 reasons why playing video games may actually be good for your kids.
#1. Better Motor Skills
Worried your child is lacking with their fine motor skill coordination? Studies suggest giving them video games! Thanks to a study completed on laparoscopic surgeons, these specialists made 32% fewer errors during their practice small incision sessions compared to their non-gaming colleagues. In fact, playing several hours of video games a week may be just what the doctor ordered!
#2. Improved Vision
Did your mother always blame video games for causing you or your sibling for needing to wear glasses? The truth is, scientists today have discovered that games played occasionally may actually improve vision. According to one study, kids who played sporadic video games for the duration of 10 weeks were able to tell the difference between different shades of grey, compared to kids who did not play at all!
#3. Full Body Movement
Many moms think that video games leave their kiddo stationary. But, with today’s games, it’s quite the contrary. There are tons of games that boast full body movement, which will have your little one breaking a sweat while playing in no time. Plus, it’s been shown that a body in motion stays in motion. So, go for the games that teach kids that activity is fun, and video games can help them get moving!
#4. Burning Calories
Going hand in hand with full body movement, kids can burn calories by playing video games that require them to remain active throughout their session. And, some physical activity is better than no activity. In fact, according to this study, children who were given active video games to play in conjunction with a weight management plan were not only more likely to maintain their weight, but actually lose some weight as well.
#5. Pain Management
It may sound like a stretch to say that video games heal pain, but some studies show that paying attention to something pleasing (when sad or physically hurt) can produce a numbing response in a child’s cortical system. In fact, the more a child is immersed in a game, the more they will focus their feelings into it and not on the aches and pains their body is producing.
#6. Enhanced Balance
Some studies show that playing video games may improve balance in the elderly. And, if it helps them, it can certainly help your child if they lack coordination at their young age! Parents can take advantage of exercise based games to reap the balance benefits.
#7. Keeps Cravings In Check
The truth is, kids who are bored tend to overeat. When a child is engaged and their hands are kept busy, they are less likely to stop for a snack, or even feel the desire to overindulge. This study revealed that there is a 24 percent reduction in desire for a snack or beverage (which often includes sugar or caffeine) after playing a video game that involved puzzles or problem solving.
#8. Improved Memory
According to the University of California, Irvine, playing 3-D video games can boost your child’s memory. Apparently, 3-D games are more beneficial than 2-D games because they have more spatial information for kids to process. They are more complex, and there is more to learn when playing them. The University concluded that these types of games not only boosts memory, but requires children to use a special part of their brain that when stimulated, boosts memory.
#9. Possible Dyslexia Benefits
Many doctors believe that dyslexic children have difficulty with paying attention. Video games may help kiddos increase their focus and even their reading comprehension (which requires lots of focus) because of the game’s constantly changing scenes that require major attention. And, the more likely your child is to focus, the more effort they will put into the act of decoding and processing what they are reading.
#10. Boosted Interest In School Subjects
Many video games have historical settings and events that drive the game, leaving players with an intense interest in history. It teaches kids to broaden their horizons and that history can be fun. It may also immerse them in various cultural situations, exposing them to languages and visuals they wouldn’t normally be exposed to or would be willing to seek out in texts.
#11. Promotes Thinking On Your Feet
A lot of video games require quick decision making. And, once your child develops a knack for thinking on their feet, they will be more inclined to do so in the classroom and their home environment, according to a recent study. In fact, kids who play video games more regularly will be more inclined to think fast, because their minds have been trained and they are more used to thinking under pressure than kids who never pick up a controller.
#12. Keeping Minds Young
Pick up a controller yourself, and you may become thankful you did! Many studies actually show that video games tend to keep the mind young. You’ve probably heard of the power of completing crossword puzzles daily. Well, video games have a similar power. They promote problem solving, critical thinking, and memory, just like a puzzle!
#13. Sparking An Interest In Technology
Studies show that lots of children become tech-savvy by playing video games. It helps them take an interest in video game design and coding, not to mention how stuff works in general! This may give them the edge that they need in a fast moving, high tech world.
#14. Promoting Leadership
Forbes has reported that some video games help strengthen kids’ leadership skills. This is mainly because kids are held responsible for promoting characters’ safety, or they are required to complete a task or mission for the good of others. This active play may help kids want to step into the limelight in school, and also help them think quickly during the problem solving process, especially when solving real world problems.
#15. Broadened Social Activity
Lots of games today are designed for multi-use players, which is a great opportunity to open up the lines of communication between parents and their kids, siblings, and even making friends in person and online. Video games can establish a common ground for common interests and bonds between young players.
#16. Teaching How To Share
Video games teach kids how to share in a number of ways. Not only do they need to take turns actually playing a game, but they learn how a shared conversation occurs. Children can’t certainly talk over one another and work together to solve a problem or complete a mission. So, they practice the art of conversation and communicating in a non-threatening, fun way!
#17. Inspire Storytelling
All great video games tell a story. Not only do games expose children of all ages to various genres (periods in history, science fiction, etc.), they intensify kids’ imagination and overall creativity. Children who regularly play video games may also be more inclined to write about their experience, expand upon a character in their game, or even create new ones in their mind.
Eric Taylor is a freelance writer based out of Alexandria, Va. His interests include traveling, coffee, and, of course, playing video games.