As a parent, it’s natural to be worried about the wellbeing of your children. And with online gaming on the rise, there are several aspects that parents are concerned about.
I bet many of you moms out there are already nodding in agreement.
Online gaming has come under the rap for several adverse effects, most commonly addiction, depression, and aggression. Some parents feel that it is also the reason behind poor academic performance in school and sudden behavioral changes.
Though these points should not be ignored, it is crucial to have a balanced view of online gaming. There are numerous positive aspects, as well.
For now, you need to keep an open mind and continue reading this post.
So what can your child gain from playing games online?
Video games have had a positive impact on children’s and adolescents’ development, from enhancing skill-building to improving social development. Besides the hours of fun and entertainment that is typically foremost in a child’s mind, there are quite a few upsides to video games. Here are just a few to keep in mind the next time your kids beg to play their favorite online games.
1. Helps Develop Problem-Solving Skills
Almost all games are designed with a particular challenge. Whether they are basic puzzles or complex ones where virtual cities are supposed to be managed, children are faced with a problem and must learn to solve them efficiently.
Research points out that children who play video games can develop three critical areas of problem-solving:
- Flexible thinking
However, it isn’t yet clear how much of the gaming problem-solving skills carry over into daily life. But any child exposed to these techniques does learn the essential strategy, as pointed out by a study in 2013 by the American Psychological Association. Repeated practice can train the brain to improve skills such as mathematics and analytics.
2. Improves Mental Acumen
While many believe that playing video games makes a child intellectually lazy, researchers are saying otherwise. Playing online games can strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as reasoning, memory, perception, reaction time, and attention.
These findings were collected from a 15-year analysis led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland. They highlighted that the human brain is malleable. It learns and adapts. More importantly, the researchers explained that gameplay, focused on short bouts of repeated practice, is much more beneficial than obsessive, lengthy episodes.
3. Enhances Creativity
Children enjoy imaginative play, such as playing with dolls and LEGO blocks. And with video games, kids have a higher chance of continuing this type of interaction.
Over time, online games are becoming increasingly complex and multifaceted. This is encouraging creative thinking and making predictions. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), such as World of Warcraft, are offering endless opportunities for creativity, among other benefits.
Depending upon the games that a child chooses, there are more opportunities to experiment in fantasy worlds, deal with different situations, interact with various personalities, etc.
4. Learning to Deal with Failure
Video games are effective tools for teaching resilience in the face of failure. And it’s not only about learning to cope with unsuccessful attempts.
The fact that there are no real-life consequences to anything that they do helps propel children to find alternative solutions to a problem or continuing to play until a level is cleared. This teaches children perseverance and determination are essential for victory. It also helps build emotional buoyancy, which can be implemented in everyday lives.
5. Boosts Social Interaction
Online gamers have often been stereotyped as a lonely, isolated gamer. However, there’s a flip side. Online games such as Mario Kart or Farmville can promote social interactions, just like sports and music.
Not only does gaming bring people together through virtual social communities, but it also encourages gatherings with friends and family.
Online gaming helps positively connect people, as they sit down to play together or discuss tips and tricks of solving a difficult level. Moreover, it can help children find common grounds for discussions at school.
But parents need to check who a child is interacting within virtual communities. Being vigilant and cautious are essential aspects of multiplayer online video games.
6. Promotes Reading Comprehension
Studies have shown that children can boost their reading skills while playing video games. What better way to learn than through fun and games?
As children figure out text instructions while interacting with a game, they learn to follow directions to achieve success. Some platforms and gaming services, such as Unlimited Gamez Mo, provide a variety of children-friendly educational games on mobile phones around the world.
7. Improves Spatial Navigation Skills
There is a variety of games that are set in 3D virtual worlds. Though Minecraft is a favorite among many children, other games such as shooter video games enhance a child’s capacity to think about objects in3D. While most see shooter games as a means of exposing children to violence, there is much to be gained by them.
The enhanced thinking required for games such as Call of Duty and PUBG depicts the power of spatial skills. As children navigate through these games, they learn to understand the meaning (and importance) of distance and space.
8. Promotes Leadership Skills
Multiplayer games encourage cooperation among players. Children who play games like Clash of Clans learn to lead their team members to victory. Moreover, they portray the concepts and skills that are relevant to the real world. Children who play them are more likely to be helpful and collaborate with others to reach a common goal.
9. Boosting Confidence
In the world of gaming, kids have the freedom to explore various options. More importantly, they feel that there is something meaningful in their interactions.
Surveys from video gamers indicated that children generally mentioned experiencing freedom, self-direction, and competence during and after gaming. Making their own decisions and striving to meet challenges that they had selected themselves added to their accomplishments.
Solving severe problems and exhibiting extraordinary skills were all part of the gameplay.
10. Provides Career Options
Even though it’s a bit early in the day for this, children with genuine interest and proficient knowledge about technology and gadgets have the potential to succeed in this field. Children who start at a young age have a better chance of excelling.
Simple, quick games like Angry Birds help improve a child’s mood as well as relieves stress. Games like these allow children to relax and ward off anxiety. The overall effect is that a child is happier after a gaming session. So the primary emotional benefit of video games cannot be overlooked.
Children who play different online games exhibit a substantial transformation. Based on the principle concept that ‘all work and no play makes Jack, a dull boy,’ it’s enough to suggest that video gaming has many perks. But like everything else in life, it is only good in moderation.
Considering the benefits that online games have to offer to children, it may be worthwhile investing in gamification in classroom education. Integrating video games into schools can shift the experience towards greater positive outcomes.
And as game designers work together with teachers to expand these positive aspects, there is much more to be gained from online gaming.