It’s a tradition to blame the gaming industry for any problems with children.
Are video games for kids really so bad? Dig deeper to see the benefits of gaming.
The statistics, updated in 2021, show that 75% of US families own a PC/console device. On average, two household members regularly enjoy virtual realities.
Guess what age groups play more often? The young are drawn to the digital world most of all. Over 30% of all US players are under 18 years old.
At the same time, most parents struggle to ban their children from simulated worlds. They claim to rescue their mind from degrading. But recent studies show that their efforts turned out to be in vain.
The previous negative attitude was wrong. There are many video game benefits that help the young develop their mental and social skills. As well as contribute to their physical well-being.
Does it make you feel skeptical? Scroll down and read this article. It’s time to stop taking such entertainment as pure evil. And finally, look at the falsely underestimated positive effects.
Over 70% of respondents choose titles to play with close friends. Or pals they encounter online. They take part in collaborative activities and practice social skills.
As they fulfil missions, they’re forced to assist their teammates to win. And if at first, it’s a necessity, it then transforms into a trait of character. As a result, gamers tend to be more helpful towards family members and complete strangers.
Additionally, virtual multi- and single-player PC/console titles are mainstream topics. A child who doesn’t have any gaming experience will be automatically excluded from conversations. It’s important to play with friends to better fit in and be more communicative.
Open-world adventures are challenging puzzles, the completion of which trains you to think hard. With it, new abilities emerge, and you don’t even notice them.
Each step, decision, and action must be based on logic. Besides, simulated realities teach us to work towards our goals persistently. Failing doesn’t mean the end of the world.
It’s a sign you’ve made a mistake and need to try again. The same attitude is then transferred to anything people do in their adult life.
One research conducted in New York explores the connection between gaming and intellectual functioning. It shows a significant increase in school competence when children play. They are 1.88 times more likely to have better grades and more friends.
How does it happen?
1) Digital worlds strengthen our cognitive skills and trick kids into learning. One needs to be able to read to know the rules, gameplay mechanics, and tips.
And be among the first to learn the latest news to discuss them with pals. There is only one way to obtain this knowledge: reading articles on blogs and forums.
Additionally, digital toys are also capable of improving basic STEM and other skills like Architecture, Math, History, Chemistry, etc.
2) Unnoticed processes of stimulating our gray matter also enhance cognitive abilities. RPGs (Role playing games) have proved to boost their volume and promote networking within the brain.
So, gamers literally become cleverer by simply enjoying action adventures.
“Gamers are lazy couch potatoes who waste their time, get fat and ruin their eyes”. You must have heard about such stigma. It’s all wrong!
This is what you can improve if you spend appropriate amount of time in the digital world:
Did you know that advanced surgeons warm up with virtual toys before surgical procedures? It helps them better command their hands and boosts their attention.
Imagine how useful it is for 7-year-olds and bigger guys. They are only learning to control motor skills. It’s a tool that can give the young much more than the previous generations had, when used appropriately.
The rapid development of VR technologies has already made digital adventures
physically active entertainment. The environment, characters, and missions are built-in real-world locations.
To proceed, one needs to move, run, jump, etc. In short, it’s like a training session but highly interactive.
It’s not a joke. You can actually learn to see better in cluttered space (e.g. fog/rain) and track multiple moving objects.
However, visual-spatial abilities get better only if you:
- Opt for titles with firing guns, not something sedate like Tetris.
- Don’t spend 24/7 in front of a monitor without breaks. It launches biological reactions and deteriorates your eyesight.
In addition to spatial resolution, you train your navigation skills. Maps and complicated worlds help better understand distance and space.
Play With Your Child
Banning gaming for kids entirely seems to be sane to many parents. But it’s not. It’ll deprive them of so many advantages their peers have. Don’t stick to the wrong assumptions from the past. Learn to benefit from virtual realities.
Of course, everything must be in moderation. It’s easier to control 5-year-olds. But with older children, it’s more complicated. Especially when parents are busy with work.
That’s why old-school banning is so popular: simple and less time-consuming. You don’t have to filter the content, set and observe time limitations, etc.
If you really wish your children well, learn to share this hobby. Watch them in action or play together on different computers. You’ll know what they’re interested in and what drives them.
Plus you’ll make sure they don’t go the wrong way by trying the adult content. But most importantly, you’ll build stronger bonds.
Where To Start
Explore what the entertainment market has to offer. There are a lot of free online games to try together. If you take something like Cartoon Network Games, you’ll find lots of options for kids of all ages.
Portals are perfect if you don’t know what genre to pick. Or maybe you want to play something new? They have rich catalogs with lists of any genre or topic. Action, arcade, puzzle… Popular hits, indie experimental toys, fresh adventures – you name it.
One more way to play games for free is a so-called “white label portal”. Popular sites of different niches add gaming sections to improve traffic. It could be a great way for parents to have fun with their kids without even leaving their favourite site.
For example, Top Speed offers to drive any racer you like. Enjoy hundreds of maps with different kinds of objectives. It can be classical racing or zombie-apocalypse rampage, ideal asphaltic surfaces or off-road hard-to-reach routes.
Pick whatever you prefer and gun the engine! Such portals are absolutely convenient, thanks to their user-oriented policies.
They offer the content free of charge and are always at hand to entertain. Browser-powered, such journeys are available on any gadget with the Internet: PC, laptop, smartphone.
Additionally, they don’t use your storage space since you don’t have to download any applications.
Moderation Is The Key to Balance
Some virtual worlds amaze with their beauty. No wonder it’s easy to get hooked by the content and crave for more. It’s easier to cope with such an addiction for adults.
Most are busy at work and simply don’t have time for such entertainment. As for kids, it’s more difficult. Uncontrolled gaming can lead to disorders among younger players. Such as depression, hysterics, rapid mood changes, problems at school and in the family.
The first reaction from parents is to blame computer influence. But the truth is that they need freedom as much as they need control. Give your children a sack of sweets.
Will they be able to stop before they feel bellyache or nauseate? Most kids just
don’t know why they should take a break. It doesn’t make sense to them to shut off this flow of positive emotions.
If you don’t know how to approach the issue, read this guideline. It shares tips on how many minutes a day are harmless. It covers different age groups and suggests optimal times.
Stick to such limitations to avoid addictive behavior and other computer-related problems.
With wise supervision, you’ll cut off any negative consequences. And positively
influence your children’s lives. If it’s their passion, it can grow into a well-paid profession.
The gaming market keeps expanding, creating new opportunities for content makers. It can be gamedev-related or connected with video production.
YouTube, Twitch, and other streamers are already earning pretty sums. Simply for commenting on cool adventures or playing them.
Cyber-sportsmen are a new privileged category of top-notch digital athletes. They’re now taken seriously, on a par with international champions.
The last grand event TI10 was held in October 2021 in Bucharest (Romania). 18 top-ranking teams fought each other in Dota 2, a multiplayer online battle arena.
The Russian Team Spirits won the competition, beating the Chinese in the final. The prize money amounted to over $18 million.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of gaming definitely outweigh any drawbacks. The latter is not as scary as many think. They turn into advantages if you choose the balanced approach.
Digital reality is a tool for education, physical development, socialization, and mental health. Cutting it off is a mistake that will have negative consequences in the future.
Trust reliable research and numbers. They denounce old misperceptions and underline the pros of video games.