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Parenting Articles
5 Ways Video Games Benefit Kids
(posted on MainStreet.com)
By Heather Larson

 

Video games offer lots of different learning opportunities and positives, which many people may not readily realize.

The obvious advantages come from games that teach and educate and are often used in a school setting. But video games can also improve a child's visual and spatial skills, better his or her spelling and typing, help manage health issues like diabetes, teach the joy of competition, promote the fun of creating your own world, help a child make new friends and so much more.

Games are available in a huge variety of genres and can be played on consoles like the Xbox, on PC computers (both online and off), and handheld devices like the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP.

Children explore, experiment, fail, succeed and repeat with video games. Doesn't that sound like a great education for what they will encounter in adult life?


Builds problem-solving abilities

Recent studies indicate that children who play video games score higher on standardized tests than those who don't. Logically that makes good sense since many games use strategy and problem-solving skills.

Almost any video game you can think of has a puzzle to be solved or an issue that needs to be unraveled. That increases a child's ability to problem solve—like completing a jigsaw puzzle, gaining a new level or acquiring a long sought-after item.

"You use the tools the game gives you to achieve a goal and you get a reward for it," says Steve Pierce, an eight-year veteran of the gaming industry and CEO of Onverse, LLC. "When you achieve the goal, you have a sense of achievement—something you don't get watching TV or a movie."

Thinking or using the brain to make decisions is always better than just sitting and absorbing like a sponge.

"Adventure, simulation, hidden objects, role-playing and puzzle games all help boost problem-solving skills," says Scott Steinberg, author of Get Rich Playing Games.

 

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