WHY KIDS SHOULD PLAY VIDEO GAMES

Approaching the kid´s day (April 30 in Latin-Americans countries and in some states in the USA), they will be undoubtedly asking us a gift, and in this era in which the technology is everywhere they probably will ask for a video game. Should we buy it?

We had to live in a time where the changes are occurring very quickly, and there are many parents who are not aware of the latest electronic equipment, unlike our children who since childhood have interacted with smart phones, tablets, computers, etc. and are not afraid of technology.

Around video games there are many myths, stating that videogames are bad, that they make kids violent, but as one of my teachers said (several years ago) the myths are relatives of the gossips, so you should not believe everything that is said of them.

I’m going to try to put some light on this issue.

This is why kids should play video games.

  • Develops spatial ability and hand-eye coordination.

By playing videogames children process the information that are watching and must interact with it through a remote control, joystick or control to be able to overcome the obstacles that arise in the game, so the movements of the hands must be in perfect synchronization with what is being seen. Likewise, the brain must process and analyze the images which most of the times are in 3D, improving the spatial perception of the players.

  • Learning to make decisions.

During a game the kids must try to solve problems, so they should perform different actions to solve them.

  • Develop consistency.

    Concentration while playing video games

During a video game session, children will fail and will lose many times before they are able to win. This will make that kids try several ways or strategies to achieve their objectives.

  • Exercise the memory

It is necessary to recall certain information while playing videogames, especially with the RPG (Role Playing Games) games, which are a type of game where the player represents a character and live their adventures. In this type of game it is necessary to interact with various characters to obtain information and thus to solve puzzles or problems that arise.

 Unfortunately, not everything is honey on pancakes. Poorly supervised kids playing video games can cause many problems:

  • Addiction

It is very easy for many parents to give theirs cell phone or Tablet to kids to entertain them, or allow your children to play on their consoles if they have them. This causes in children that they don’t know what to do with their free time, such as reading or playing with his friends in physical activities, and feel lost if they are not playing videogames. You should supervise that children do not play more than a certain limit of time and to make them do other types of activity.

  • Sedentary life style.

If they are just playing video games it is possible that they suffer from obesity and problems in the column from just to be seated for long periods of time.

  • Change of personality.

It is necessary to be aware of what kind of game kids are playing.  You should not buy a game to a kid of 7 or 8 years that has explicitly violence, and they usually are accompanied by profanity and images or sexual explicit situations.

 Video games have a classification system defined by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) Organization.

RATING CATEGORIES

  EARLY CHILDHOOD.Content is intended for young children.

 EVERYONE.Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

 EVERYONE 10+. Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

 TEEN. Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.

 MATURE.  Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

 ADULTS ONLY. Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.

In general, the use of video games on children is good if you follow certain guidelines which I list below:

  • Give appropriate games.

Here I am a little tolerant, since, let’s be honest, if we say to a teenager to not play a M title the teenager will say that all his/her friends have it, that why not, that he/she can play it in the house of a friend, etc. but I am not going to give a M rated videogame to a boy of 8 or 9 years. I think here we must be in accordance with the maturity of our kids, if we consider that something is not appropriate for them, then don’t give it to them, it all depends on the judgment of the parents. What is not permissible is let them play wherever they want without supervision.

  • Limit the game time.

 Our children must have several activities, and video games can be one of them, but never the only one, since this could lead to problems such as social isolation, stress, psychological tiredness and loss of school responsibilities. Nor is it good to ban them completely. Like all things, any excess is bad.

Now back to our other topic, what game to give this kid´s day, or any special occasion, let’s first start by hardware.

If you still don’t have any hardware, you have a choice between table and portable consoles.

Between portable consoles the best choice is Nintendo with its 3DS since it is offering more variety of titles. Their competition would be the Sony PSVita, but I think that it is not the best option. If you have good budget you can opt for Nintendo Switch which it was released a short time ago and has few available titles, but promises much in the future.

Between home consoles we have the Xbox One and the Xbox One S from Microsoft, and the PS4 and the PS4 Pro from Sony. Both companies have a large catalog of games and in my opinion, the Sony consoles outperforms Microsoft, although this may be about to change. Both companies have their consoles models that scale videogames to 4K if the TV set supports it. If you just want to play on a normal HD TV set then I would recommend buying the Xbox One or the PS4, preferably the latter. If you want to play on a 4K screen with native 4K video, what I would do then is to wait because Microsoft is going to release a new console, the Scorpio project, at the end of the year, that they promise will be the most powerful console on the market with native 4K video.

I will recommend 3 videogames per platform.

3DS

 Zelda Ocarina of time. Click here to buy it from Best Buy

 Super Mario 3D Land. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

 Mario Kart 7. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

PSVita

 Rayman Origins. Click here to buy it from GameStop

 Little Big Planet. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

 Tearaway. Click here to buy it from GameStop.

XBox One

 NBA 2017. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

 Ori and the Blind Forest. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

 Forza Horizon 3. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

PS4

 Shovel Knight. Click here if you want to buy it from GameStop.

 Overwatch. Click here to buy it from Best Buy.

 Uncharted 4. Click here to buy it from Best Buy .

I left behind all M rating wideo games in this list.

If you have any comments please share.

Your friend

Ruben

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5 Replies to “WHY KIDS SHOULD PLAY VIDEO GAMES”

  1. Good information here
    Ruben, I like that you explain the effects on kids playing computer games. I think so too, it is not dangerous if the parents are involved.
    Do you think the rating categories are realistic?
    Thanks for the post, see you

    1. Most video games are multiplatform, so the same games you find on consoles are available on PC, so rating categories are the same, and I think the rating categories can be used as a reference. Parents are the ones who should decide if a video game is suitable for their kids.

  2. Awesome post, very enlightening.
    My sister has a similar problem, she is always glued to her mobile phone playing games and that is annoying, we want to be with her and talk to her but she doesn’t even pay attention.
    Sometimes I take her the phone (our parents have no patience) but then I am always the “bad guy”. So, I agree with you, it can be good if not in excess.
    I would love to ear if you have some ideas on educational games for mobile phones.

  3. Hi Ruben –
    Wow – there is a ton of great information in this post. I really appreciate the pros and con given, and your suggestions around parental supervision. I agree – there is a ton of great games out there. Children should have the opportunity to play games that are appropriate for their age.
    Thanks again.
    Have a great day – Brian

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