Everyone knows video games can be played for fun, but many studies have found that some video games can have substantial benefits beyond that of entertainment.
1. Games improve critical thinking and reading skills.
Many video games offer challenging puzzles for players forcing them to think outside the box to solve them. Many games involve reading, whether it is to examine equipment or dialogue, words are often included in games. Whether you realize it or not, you could actually be improving your vocabulary. In fact one study by Italian researchers found evidence that playing fast-paced video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia. Puzzle games and word games are excellent examples of this….and you thought Words with Friends was just for fun!
2. Games can provide educational benefits without participants being aware of it.
Every tried to get a child to do his or her homework? What do you think a typical teenager’s response would be you went up them and asked if they would like to have some fun solving this math equation? Most teens today are technology focused, and educators have started asking kids to complete educational exercises through video games. Many times students are not even focused on the fact that they are learning, instead they are enjoying the video game. I really good example of this is when I was in high school and I played video games that involved typing fast. Many typing games involve typing specific words as fast and accurately as you can to defeat enemies and quite a few are even made for adults (Check out The Typing of the Dead: Overkill on Steam. Here is an example of the gameplay.)
3. Gaming can be a highly sociable activity.
Believe it or not gaming can actually increase sociability in teens. Everyone knows playing video games online or in person with friends is extremely popularl; however, did you know that participating in those activities can actually improve a kid’s social skills? Most games involve some kind of goal achievement, and players must communicate and use interpersonal skills in order to progress through them. Video games can increase teens’ ability to work together as a team. In fact, studies have shown that Children who play video games with others often receive positive social skills from it. They are even more likely to have higher self-esteem, good peer relationships, and achievements in school.
Checkout SnailRush, a multiplayer trivia racing game developed by Eduisfun which is currently trending on the Google Play store. It is one of the best in class “edutainment” apps available and is played all over the world; it currently has a rating of over 4.9 stars. You can compete in math and science competitions while having the potential to win real life rewards and scholarships while doing so.
Try it now exclusively on the Google Play store!
4. Video games can relieve stress and promote happiness.
Ever get home and just want to relax in front of your TV and beat up some bad guys? For many playing video games are a relaxing way to entertain oneself. Relaxation reduces teh risk of heart problems and stroke, boosts memory, and helps fight against depression. People can use video games as a chance to tune out the daily stresses of life and decompress. Giving your mind time to rest is very important for overall emotional and mental well-being.
5. Video games can be individually customized for players.
Every student is different; some develop fast others start slow. Video game difficulties and other settings can be used to have players of all ages gain educational benefits from them. Games allow students to learn at their own pace without constant parental oversight.
“By balancing gameplay ennjoyment with an appropriate level of challenge, games have the ability to keep plaeyrs in their own unique optimally challenging and engaging zone of learning” – Jan Plass, NYU Professor of Digital Media and Learning sciences.
6. Games can teach new skill sets and promote knowledge.
Games can provide kids with a variety of skills that are not always apparent. For example building games can help kids understand basic engineering principals, first person shooters can improve hand eye coordination and platformers can increase reflexes. FOr example, the popular Angry Birds game is now teaching children basic coding principles. In fact, some researchers have suggested that gamers have the same reaction times as fighter pilots. In fact various games can even increase players’ knowledge of historical events, equipment, and vehicles; depending on how realistic and accurate they are.
For example UTMB did a training study and found that teen gamers are better at virtual surgery than some real medical residents:
7. When used in moderation and in particular forms can increase overall health and promote exercise.
Every played Wii Boxing for 30 minutes? Tell me that isn’t a workout. What about Dance Dance Revolution…remember that game? Many video games, especially ones that involve motion control can promote exercise and movement in children. Similar to how playing sports can be fun and healthy, some video games can achieve similar affects. Understand though we are talking about a specific subset of games here; obviously games that do not require various degrees of motion would not apply.
So…what are you waiting for…start gaming for a healthier mind and body!