For children growing up today, computers and video games are an integral part of childhood, along with their many benefits.
Playing video or computer games is one of the most popular, funniest and a most important activity for children. However, this activity doesn’t seem so beneficial to parents, most of them think that playing games is actually a waste of time. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently voted to officially classify video game addiction as a very real psychological disorder.
However, there are also scientists and psychologists who claim that children can actually have many benefits from playing video games. As a major benefit, they suggest the possibility of becoming smarter. Video games can actually teach children advanced thinking that they can use later in life.
The Many Benefits of Video Games
Video games show many signs of evolution since their inception in the 70s, and can today be applied even for educational purposes. Research has shown the positive effects of using computers in the following areas: intellectual development, speech development, motivation, school education, that is: reading, writing and basic math, creativity, cooperation, and communication.
In small groups of children, the computer encourages peer learning, richer communication, the exchange of ideas and sharing of tips, discoveries and creations with others.
Research and studies that have dealt with the negative consequences of using computers at pre-school age point to the following areas where risk factors can be identified: physical and mental health of children, risks to social and emotional development, and risks to intellectual development and short-sightedness. Using a computer in a way that is not suited to the child’s age has a particularly negative effect on development and learning.
Strengthening Cognitive Abilities
Most games promote memory, attention, and logical thinking. Even playing just a few hours a week can make a difference regardless of age. For example, real-time games can improve these abilities as the player needs to analyse every situation against his opponents.
Plan for an attack, defence, or any other situation in advance, and prepare for actions and counteractions of his opponents. All of this within a short time span, every few seconds or minutes. These situations can improve attention and help in solving problems that will surely occur in the future, in school, office and everyday life.
It Helps Develop Decision-Making Skills
Playing a video game can improve decision-making skills. While some games require immediate decision-making other include long-term decisions, that pay off later in the story. In RPG’s predetermined decisions about the character attributes and subsequent interactions can have major consequences on the actions of the player’s character. Some TBS (Turn-based Strategy) games also require players to analyse and react to a variety of parameters in order to win the game.
Improve the Processing Of Visual Data
First Person Shooter and Shoot ’em up games often require players to quickly move the focus to different parts of the screen. While they do that, players must also keep an eye on current situations. This means that the brain learns to divide attention and improves the processing of incoming visual information. As players do not have much time to make decisions, predictions and reactions are improving and getting quicker over time.
Learning To Participate In Teamwork
Whether it’s an online multiplayer or a local cooperative game, most require players to work closely with their team. Popular ones such as FPS games and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) require teams of 5 people to work together. Here each player has their strengths, weaknesses, and skills and contributes to the team’s performance. This type of collaboration can surely be transferred to work or school.
Playing Games Is Healthy
Some hospitals may be equipped with video game stations, which serve to positively influence the recovery of the patient. Through this therapy, patients can find a positive distraction and even communicate socially with other people. This increases their level of optimism through dopamine surges and provides a better foundation for healing.
Moderation And Health Above All
Parents do check which games your child plays in the same way you would for movies and TV programs. Not all content is suitable for all ages. While playing games can be very educational, remind your children to perform other activities as well. Having diverse hobbies is important for the development of both the brain and body.
Limit the time that a child spends playing games on a daily basis. Monitor the impact that video games have on the child. If they start to act aggressively, reduce or ban violent video games.
The benefits of playing video games can sound quite incredible, and it’s important to know that they exist. However, there is a plethora of scientific evidence on how they can also be damaging as well. Always be aware of the pros and cons when addressing this issue with your children as you might be doing them more harm than good by keeping them away from their computers.
Computer training for those who missed the boat?
A lot of Seniors today think they have missed the boat because they didn’t grow up with computers. We hear them cry that they will never be able to learn to use a computer. However gradually over time the smart phone is being introduced into their lives. And before they know communicating with your technology is underway. Although we do see people glued to their devices everywhere, and It is a fine line to know how much is too much! The smartphone is a computer and is a great way to learn “computer speak”. Learning to use technology is similar to learning a new language.
Computer Coach Australia services
Zoe at Computer Coach Australia has taught so many people to become confident and to “have-a-go”. They learn to take a risk and click on one of those little icons, rather than freezing and doing nothing. The chances are what is clicked on will not set off a chain reaction of destruction plus it will become a valuable learning experience. The reason why younger people learn to use technology so easily is, they have no fear of what could go wrong. Likewise there are many perks to having your own computer coach. We work with everyone including seniors, NDIS recipients, business owners, students and English second language clients. We even work with people one-on-one via the internet if they live in remote areas. If you are someone or you know someone who struggles to learn to use a computer or smartphone, then give Zoe a call 0407 956 071 and have a chat.
After having a session with Zoe, within no time you will develop “learn-to-learn” skills. Everyone can become inspired, motivated and empowered to take advantage of 21st century technologies.
Or drop us a note here. We love to hear from you and help you to achieve your goals.