Benefits of Video Games for Children
Video games can stimulate a child’s senses. They can also help them develop many skills. In this article, we’ll explain some of the surprising benefits of video games for children.
Almost all parents have complained about the amount of time their children spend in front of the TV or computer screen. However, it’s been discovered that this isn’t a complete waste of time.
This may come as a surprise to you. That’s why we decided to explain some of the benefits of video games for children that you probably didn’t know about.
If there is an activity that captures a child’s full attention nowadays, it’s usually video games. The special effects, the evolution in game-play and the ability to manipulate virtual characters without even having a control in hand are all characteristics that make certain video games irresistible to children.
In addition, there are a wide variety of games available today. There are hundreds of games about sports, movies, shows or any other imaginable activity that are available for computers, smart phones and video game consoles. There are even games that simulate jobs such as being a trucker, farmer or city mayor.
As parents, we often worry about the amount of time our children spend in front of screens and the over-stimulation that screens can cause. However, we have to keep in mind that it isn’t all that bad. There are several benefits of video games that you might have never imagined.
The 7 main benefits of video games for children
- Video games stimulate their imagination. Through video games children can explore new worlds. They can experience different ways to see the world. They will also be able to see the complexities of the working world and the many benefits of playing sports.
- Video games can help children socialize. Nowadays, playing video games online is normal for many children. The only limitation for this platform is not having internet access or certain games that are paid. Beyond this, you would be surprised to see the amount of teamwork that these games require. Community games allow children to establish contact with other “gamers” from other cities and countries. In addition, they will be able to play online with their own friends as a way to establish healthy competition.
- Video games develop their capacities. They don’t always win in video games. This allows them to develop their tolerance to frustration and handle failure. Winning takes effort, practice, learning and perseverance. These qualities can be reinforced through video games and applied in other areas of life.
- Video games stimulate coordination. Children have to respond to the audiovisual stimulation that they receive from games. Therefore, video games can be a way to exercise their coordination. They also help enhance their reflexes, memory and attention.
- Develop math skills. A lot of games require addition, subtraction, multiplication or division to achieve good results. For example, in sports video games, to draft the intended player, the gamer may have to go through lengthly negotiations and calculations. This is also true when it comes to simulation games such as the Sims where players must manage their money. There are even digital versions of games like Monopoly.
- They require the use of logic. As we mentioned above, many video games require mental effort and the use of strategy to achieve positive results. Children’s ability to reason can be put to the test in many different game genres.
- They aren’t dangerous. There is a very low probability for a child to get injured in front of the television or computer. Video games are also an ideal form of entertainment for cold and rainy days.
“Video games benefit socialization. It is surprising how much teamwork some games require.”
Aspects to consider
Although we mentioned all the benefits of video games for children, you must keep in mind that anything done in excess can be harmful. Video games should not prevent your child from practicing physical activities. Look for a balance in order to prevent obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
Children shouldn’t be allowed to postpone their obligations or social activities in order to stay at home to play video games. Likewise, as parents, we must control the content of the video games that our children use – they usually come with a rating for recommended age groups.
“Children don’t always win in video games, this allows them to develop their tolerance to frustration and failure.”
Finally, you must keep in mind that despite all the benefits of video games for children, they shouldn’t become the center of a child’s life. Children should never “live to play.” If you notice that video games are causing your child to behave differently, you should start to set certain limits. It’s also important to seek the advice of professionals.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Rodríguez, E. (2002). Jóvenes y videojuegos: espacio, significación y conflictos. Instituto de la juventud.
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