Benefits of the game for children
A study associating video gaming with improved laparoscopic surgery is the tip of the iceberg in the hot topic of video gaming’s positive effects.
According to Mitchell Wade, co-author of The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace, “When you see studies that show surgeons or pilots improve their skills in the real world by using computer-based simulations, also known as Like games, you see the line between what’s real and what’s not real is blurry.” Wade did extensive research on the effects of video games and their real-world uses.
Voluntary Learning Environment
Video games are a great place for children to participate in global interaction on a voluntary basis. With the fun that games bring, children are not even aware that games really help develop team spirit, cooperation and encourage risk taking in a risk-free environment. They quickly earn rewards in the form of virtual prizes when they complete a certain task and discover through repeated trial and error that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Wade found that the lessons learned become more important than the images shown. Gender typing in videos and even violence and sex in graphics are less powerful than the lessons about teamwork, success and failure. Mitchell’s study also revealed that four-fifths of young adults played video games growing up. He says, “Part of growing up is ‘normalizing’ your peer group, and those who haven’t played video games find it more difficult to bond because they lack common experiences.”
John Black, a professor at Teacher’s College at Columbia University, said he has seen children grow in learning when they can manipulate variables or events. An example of this is Civilization, where players can change historical events and see how it would have impacted the world. These types of games stimulate students’ interest in history. Changes, such as the Spanish not introducing horses to Native Americans, can have many consequences no matter how simple that event is in history.
Games provide learning from experiences rather than lectures. Games allow players to explore options and discover certain outcomes. They know the data and learn as they investigate more possibilities.
Real World Uses
Today, Ganes continues to change and imitate reality more, and is being used to enhance real abilities. The new wave of Wii games involve physical bodies in what’s called “augmented reality gaming.” Wii sells better, even with cartoon graphics, than games from other companies that use state-of-the-art graphics.
Computer simulated roller coaster rides in arcades allow players to experience and overcome fears without riding an actual roller coaster. They can program simple loops or dangerous thrills and rolls.
The military has also optimized games like Flight Simulator to help with hand-eye coordination in pilot training. The CIA and the Army provide games to personnel to train agents and prepare soldiers for real war gaming experiences.
Physicians who work with young patients with pain encourage the playing of videos because it helps to block pain without medication. When kids get involved in something exciting, it takes their mind off the pain.
How much game time is enough?
A laparoscopic surgery study showed improvement with just three hours of weekly play, anything beyond that can cause problems. In Korea, due to sitting in the same position for many hours, some players developed deep vein thrombosis that caused blood clots in their legs. Children need physical activity.
Wade discovered that games happen in waves. Kids can spend hours shooting hoops to improve a skill and then lose interest once they master it. Kids can also spend hours gaining computer proficiency and then move on to another activity.
Interact with your sons and daughters to discover what interests them in a game, what lessons they learn and monitor the time they spend playing. Play some games with your kids and promote breaks that get your kids physically moving and interacting in real environments.