5 Benefits of Video Games

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My son’s favorite activity after playing basketball is playing video games.  If I allowed, he could play video games all day long.  He plays sports, Star Wars, Halo, and Sonic video games.  Like many moms, I assumed video games were a complete waste of time.  He was only allowed to play after I was certain there was nothing else he could possibly do with this time.   Then one day I overheard my brother saying how good my son was at playing the football video game.  Thinking that was strange, my husband explained that our son learned to make good decisions and formed solid strategies playing the game. Still unconvinced, I took a look at the game. It required far more thought than I had expected. Even more unexpected were studies that revealed the benefits of video games.

  1. Problem Solving.  Most games challenge the player to solve problems to move to the next level.  Normally, each level involves more challenging tasks.
  2. Hand Eye Coordination.   Believe it or not hand eye coordination is developed by playing computer and video games.
  3. Social Skills.  Research has shown that playing video games may help children develop social skills.  A professor from Nottingham University wrote it may help children with ADD.
  4. Think on Your Feet.  Video games move quickly and wait for no man.  Therefore, the player must learn to think fast and make quick decisions. Since the child has an interest in the game and is fully engaged he challenges himself to perform.  
  5. Distraction for Sick Children.  Children who are recovering from an illness or undergoing treatments can find distraction from pain and discomfort in a video game.  It also keeps the child busy and focused on something other than illness.
Keep in mind, I am not in any way advocating violent video games with inappropriate content for kids.