Reasons computer games are good for your brain: Why Children should be encouraged into console gaming

Posted by admin on Jul 8, 2009 in geekery, lists, opinion, technology |

kidgaming Games and kids. They go together like Ribena and Hobnobs or anything of the confectionery nature, but all too often parents tend to regard console antics equal to truancy in terms of  desired activities for their lil ‘uns. But I don’t think this is necessarily fair or wise, and think the perception that games ares somehow wasteful, pointless and a bad influence should be counteracted.

I’d go so far as to say kids should be actively ENCOURAGED to pick up a Playstation pad as there is wealth of learning to be had from gametime that will be invaluable to their future development.

And here’s why.

-They teach you patience and reward you with bonus levels

How many hours did you have to play Zelda before you learnt the moves that would unlock the realm? It wasn’t just handed to you on a plate now was it- to succeed in games takes time, skill and dedication, all qualities we should want to foster in the youth of today. Magical realism now, surgeons of the future in ten years?

-They improve hand eye co-ordination

Team games are great but not every kid has the skills or the confidence to run straight into rounders or tennis. The majority of games require you to be very dexterous with your fingers which will improve your ability to react and interact with moving objects. Naturally the Wii takes this to a whole new level, and should boost confidence and aptitude when playing IRL.

-They help you view things laterally

When problem solving in every day life the direct route form A-B doesn’t always solve the issue. You’re told to ‘Think outside the box,’ and anyone who has ever tried TombRaider will know the frustration of looking for submerged levers or cryptic puzzles and thus enhance their mental flexibility.

They introduce you to new things

OK, we’re not suggesting that ALL new things in games are healthy and I wouldn’t recommend going on a Prototype style rampage or GTAing your way across a city, but how many of you were tempted into snowboarding by Shaun White? Cooking Mama shows people that kitchen antics don’t have to include Gordon Ramsey style banality and DDR might encourage one to take up jazz or body popping  lessons.

On the downside the DS has a plethora of cringeworthy tiles such as My First Baby- but then the teen pregnancy statistic proves that option is already effective. After I’d played a couple of hours of Mirrors Edge I was inspired to take a Parkour lesson at my local gym, and though I sucked, without the games gentle influence I might never have even tried it.

soul-boobsThey’re sexless

Sure, games may be slightly sexist and tend to feature women with DD’s in skimpy attire (that would never work, think of the backache she’d have without proper support) but they can be played BY anyone, and you can BE anyone you desire, which makes them pretty universal.

PS: Obviously I don’t recommend that kids play to excess, or abandon all outdoor pursuits to sit in front of the Gogglebox all day, but a moderate amount of gameplay a day can really be beneficial to their development.

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