By Zunammie Keren
If you asked me yesterday whether or not I would allow my son to sit down and play 5 hours of video games undisturbed I would, without hesitation, have said ‘no way!’ After all playing endless hours of mindless video games is not allowed in the mommy handbook, right? Then yesterday I came across this study that suggests that playing video games can actually benefit your child and encourage their brain development. Talk about a paradigm shift! I was shocked to say the least, but I was also curious as if there is a chance that video games can be helpful to my son then I definitely want to learn more about it.
So apparently playing video games can have a whole host of benefits. They have been found to help with memory, hand-eye coordination and some games even have the potential to develop your child’s reading and math skills! Have we been blindly brainwashed to believe that the time a child spends playing video games is time that is totally wasted? If this new evidence that video games can have a positive effect on your child’s mental development is true then video games could very well be potential educational aides that have so far been vastly undervalued.
I for one will definitely be exploring this concept more to see how I can use it to simulate my son’s mental capacity and brain development. Video games can help with concentration and my son who seems to be unable to sit at the dinner table for more than 5 minutes at a time can certainly benefit from learning this skill. The ability to make judgments, think on your feet and follow instructions are all also sighted as potential benefits that your child can experience by playing video games regularly.
The amount of time your child spends playing video games is one thing, but the type of games that he or she plays is a whole other matter. Researchers have found strong evidence linking playing violent video games to aggressive behavior and while this does not guarantee that every child who plays games like Modern Warfare and Grand Theft Auto will end up becoming a criminal mastermind, I think that encouraging children to play games that hold more potential benefits like NBA Live 10 and Minecraft is the way to go.
These games are fun for kids to play but they also help to develop you child’s analytical, thinking and problem skills as well and that is a win-win in my mommy handbook! If you are not sure which video games can potentially help your child’s development you can check out this article I found that has 23 video games you can look into.
Playing video games may have lots of potential to positively impact our children but as parents we need to be aware of which games our kids are playing. Children also need a healthy social life where they physically interact with their peers and the environment so that they can become well-rounded individuals. Spending all their time locked away from everyone and totally immersed in a digital gaming world cannot be good and I still think that even 5 hours undisturbed is probably too much but as long as they have ample time where they can be social and fully interact with reality, I don’t see anything wrong with also letting them play simulating games that can help them to develop while they are having fun.
Taken from the April issue of Geek Parenting, out now!