Bet you think that all those shooting, racing, and brain-eating zombie games negatively affect your children? Well, you are not entirely wrong, as games may cause addiction and lead to a less physically active lifestyle. But, you are not entirely right either. The results of numerous studies suggest that video games teach children how to solve challenging problems, help them improve their memory, and actually increase their attention span.
Faster information processing
Did you know that video games are an excellent workout for your brain? Scientists at the Open University of Catalonia claim that video games help to exercise attention, improve information recall, and develop visuospatial skills.
While playing, a child has to seek out creative solutions for challenging tasks in a short time. A study at the University of Rochester found that people who regularly play computer games tend to make decisions 25% faster.
“It’s not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate – they are just as accurate and also faster. Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference” — said Daphne Bavelier, research co-author.
Scientists at the Ruhr University have also concluded that gamers are better at learning.
“Our study shows that gamers are better at analyzing a situation quickly, at generating new knowledge and at categorizing facts — especially in situations with high uncertainties” — says the lead author Sabrina Schenk.
More positive emotions
Why do people play video games? – To have fun and receive positive emotions. A game helps to relax, relieve stress and reduce irritation. According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford, among 5,000 children aged 10 to 15 years, kids who play video games at least 1 hour a day are more satisfied with their lives than kids who don’t play at all.
Nowadays, a flow theory is also gaining popularity among psychologists all over the world. A flow is a special gaming state when a person is so deeply immersed that they get to escape the stress of their daily lives, which is a positive thing, when used in moderation.
Advanced social skills
Gone are the days when our society saw gamers as odd reclusives. Thanks to all types of in-game interactions, children learn to communicate, and then transfer these skills to their everyday life. With the help of video games, children learn a variety of skills — teamwork, conflict resolution, mutual assistance, and support.
Howe’s LifeCourse Associates interviewed more than 1,000 people about their gaming habits, and then gathered basic demographic information. The results were very curious. According to a copy of a study published in The Washington Post, about 57% of gamers agree with the statement: “My friends are the most important thing in my life.”
Higher learning efficiency
Children love games because of beautiful animation and interactive features. And this is an excellent base for learning too. No wonder it’s believed that children perceive information better while playing. An absence of routine makes the learning process enjoyable and motivates kids to study. Math, logic, art, and even science can be learned through video games.
A study at the University of Michigan found a link between the love of video games and creativity. It turned out that gamers (regardless of gender, race, or even a video game genre) are more advanced in their creative skills.
Video games increase your child’s self-esteem. Games are designed to reward persistence and perfection and teach children that you need to practice in order to get better. And as they do and their skill grows, they begin to feel proportionately better about themselves. And it’s a valuable lesson to apply to life in general – it’s not that you are not good at something, it’s that you are not yet good at something. Growth mentality versus fixed mentality.
Parents, give video games a second chance! If you are afraid that your kid will devote too much time to games, use the Nicola Read2Play app. It combines the functions of a parental control tool and an educational app. A child has to complete learning exercises to gain game access on their tablet. Try Nicola for free here.