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A lot has changed in the world of video games since the first video console in 1972. Despite the criticisms of its effects on players the industry continued to evolve and grow. Aside from arcades and consoles, you can now play free video games online. Not just that, people also realized that playing these games can also be beneficial in developing skills for both kids and adults.
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Video Games and Life Skills
Games whether virtual or in real life are often used as learning tools by educators or coaches. Perhaps more now that a lot of real-life activities like shopping, banking, meetings, etc. have their virtual counterparts already. Video games may have been primarily developed for fun and leisure but there are also studies on the positive effect of video games on one’s life skills. For one, the level of concentration and neurotransmitter surges that occur while playing helps in strengthening neural circuits. It is also believed that playing video games has a positive effect on developing higher-level thinking skills.
Areas of Development That can be Powered Up with Video Games
There are loads of video games out there that can help kids and even adults develop skills. You’ve got VR games, console games, and online games that help boost problem-solving, spatial, math, reading, and planning skills. In recent years multi-player games have also become popular and useful in developing the interpersonal skills of players.
Problem-solving, logic, and spatial skills. Puzzle, mazes, and pattern games are great for developing problem-solving and logic skills. These games challenge your ability to navigate and clear obstacles to achieve your goals. In doing so, players can analyze options and use logic to determine the best possible approach. There are several fantastic coding games available that may teach children to code without them even realizing it. The Code Panda is one such example. In this game, you help the Panda get to the Bamboo by using arrows to plot a clear route to it. Through Code Panda, children may explore coding while also learning the fundamental concepts.
Both adults and children have experienced extreme stress as a result of COVID-19. However, there are methods for overcoming COVID-19 anxiety. One example is coding. Coding can help children in learning coping skills throughout these uncertain times while their developing minds are particularly vulnerable.
Hand-eye coordination and fine motor coordination. Action, virtual sports, and shooting games whether online, VR, or console are great for developing hand-eye and fine motor coordination. Virtual sports games in VR and Wii allow you to mimic real-life movements so you also get a bit of physical workout from it. Minecraft and Medal of Honor are also great for developing both hand-eye and fine motor-coordination.
Planning, management, and Logistics. Simulation games are great for preparing kids for their future careers. Some games are very basic involving simple profit and loss scenarios like the Real Estate Tycoon. Property prices fluctuate in this game. Profiting from the arbitrage of buying low and selling high is the main objective.
Such games educate children not only about money but also about the need of starting early with investments. By introducing children to the fundamentals of investing, you expose them to how businesses operate, how to grow money, and hopefully, how to choose investments wisely. Other games are more complex and would require planning and management and logistics. Examples of these are time management games with farms, restaurants, salons, or real estate themes.
Interpersonal Skills, Cooperation, and teamwork. There are multi-player video games that allow players to interact and work with each other. This can help develop interpersonal skills in kids as well as socially awkward individuals. Ideally, these games are played among friends or people within the same social circle. In any case, safety precautions must always be considered when engaging in multiplayer games. The classic game of Dungeons and Dragons has a multiplayer video game version too. Other popular role-play games that foster teamwork and cooperation are Mobile Legends, Clash of Clans, and Rise of Kingdoms.
Control Measures to Avoid the Adverse Effects of Video Games
Keep tabs on your game time. One of the negative criticisms of video games is that they can be addictive and people get hooked for hours. While this is true in some cases it is not so in the majority of cases. Striking a balance between real-life activities and video games is the key to enjoying the benefits gained from playing. An hour a day is reasonable as long as it doesn’t replace a more productive activity in real life. Nowadays it’s easy to keep track of time spent on games by checking your usage stats.
Choose games wisely. Not all video games have positive effects on kids and individuals. There have been games criticized for being too violent or promoting violence. To make sure that you’re getting only the good in your video games choose them wisely. This doesn’t mean that your games will be boring there are plenty of games with positive content that are fun, challenging, and exciting. Check the descriptive labeling and explore the games yourself before allowing kids to play with them. Parents who would like some guidance in choosing suitable video games for kids can check ESRB game ratings and similar websites.
Practice online safety at all times. There is always a potential threat from hackers online even in games. As such its important to be aware of dangers and practice online safety at all times.