Video games are an incredibly popular pastime among children and teenagers, with statistics showing that 97 percent of American youth aged 12 to 17 play video games. Video games can provide a host of benefits to players, such as improved problem-solving skills, increased creativity and even better hand-eye coordination. Many parents are concerned, however, that video games can lead to addiction, poor grades, and other negative effects.
But there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that playing video games can actually be beneficial to children’s development. Here are some of the potential benefits of video games for kids.
Improved Problem-Solving and Strategic Thinking Skills
Playing video games is thought to improve problem-solving skills as well as strategic thinking. Games involve problem-solving tasks and require players to make decisions in order to progress. As players continue to play, they learn to apply creative thinking to solve more difficult problems. This type of learning is known as “active learning” and is thought to encourage children to think more broadly and deeply about problems.
Enhanced Hand-Eye Coordination
Video games can improve hand-eye coordination by training players to respond quickly and accurately to visual cues. This type of skill is especially important for sports and other physical activities, as it allows players to better anticipate their opponents’ moves and react accordingly.
Video games can also encourage players to be creative in how they approach challenges, as games often require players to come up with their own strategies for completing tasks. This can be especially true for open-world games, which allow players to explore freely and come up with their own solutions for puzzles.
Help for Children With ADHD
Research has found that playing video games can help children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In one study, playing “The Legend of Zelda” was found to reduce symptoms of ADHD in children, improving their concentration, attention, organization, and the ability to plan ahead.
Improved Social Skills
The right kinds of video games can help to improve children’s social skills. Many video games are played with friends or online with other players, which encourages teamwork, communication and cooperation. You can also find games that are specifically designed to help children learn social skills, such as those involving virtual worlds, role-playing, and negotiation.
The Bottom Line
Video games can be a great way for children to have fun and learn. They can improve problem-solving and strategic thinking, increase their hand-eye coordination, and even help them to be more creative. In addition, gaming can help to improve social skills in children with ADHD, and can even help those with social anxiety to become more confident in social situations. Of course, it’s important to ensure that your child is playing age-appropriate games and is not spending too much time gaming.