At the very least, video games are condemned as time wasters. At worst, they are portrayed as the cause of brain damage, attention deficit disorder and even antisocial and sociopathic behaviors in kids. While there may be a degree of truth in some of these accusations especially when unhealthy addiction comes into play, gaming has its share of beneficial qualities as well.
BRAIN CHANGES The problems with video games is that it cause alterations to occur in the brain, but so does learning to read. When done in moderation, gaming can actually boost a child’s ability to concentrate while using high-level thinking. Complex tasks that challenging video games can enhance include problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking, managing resources, accuracy and quick thinking. Kids immersed in a game learn to make and follow complicated strategies while remaining aware of their constantly changing environment. That’s probably why the U.S. military has incorporated video games into their training programs.
FAMILIARITY WITH TECHNOLOGY
No matter where you travel in today’s world, you cannot escape technology. While it makes sense to avoid using the television or mobile devices as babysitters, an excellent case can be made for the benefits of exposing children to electronic innovations at a young age. Video games provide a fun and interactive way to accomplish this task. This is especially true for girls, who are often conditioned to reject science, math and electronic devices.
A WAY TO BOND
Many video games are multi-generational, giving parents a chance to interact directly with their child in a way that is fun and non-authoritative. Inevitably, the time will come when the child understands a concept better than the parent does. This provides kids with a chance to be the teacher, thus bolstering their communications skills and empowering them in a way that does not often happen during childhood.
Video games give kids a chance to be composers, musicians, creators and artists in unique ways. Whether they are designing a castle, making up a song on a virtual piano or adding ingredients to a burger, games give kids free rein to formulate something in new and wonderful ways. The spirit of excitement that is generated can even lead youth to become inspired to make career choices that are tailored to their unique outlook and lifestyle choices. This ESPN article about Nick Gross gives some insight into how a Los Angeles-based musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist is helping kids to channel their love of the video game Fortnight into self-discovery that can lead to a lifetime of personal and career fulfillment.
Should anyone spend all of their waking hours with their fingers wrapped around a joystick and their eyes glued to a screen? Of course not. However, a sane and moderate level of exposure to the fascinating and varied world of video games can have numerous benefits. It might even help the gamer to find the career of their dreams.