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7 reasons why your kids should play video games

Conventional wisdom suggests that time spent playing video games is time wasted. The common perception is that few video games exercise the brain and, if there is any physical activity involved, it’s usually the occasional wave of a controller rather than anything that will work up a sweat. And shouldn’t kids be outside playing, rather than sitting in front of yet another screen?

Not so fast, say many parenting experts and researchers. Studies have consistently shown that the benefits of video gaming can far outweigh the perceived negatives. Although video gaming should certainly be supervised, there are good reasons why you should let your kids spend a few hours a week building cities or battling aliens. Here’s why:

1. Video games teach problem solving. Video games get kids to think. There are dozens of video games that are specifically geared towards learning, but even the most basic shooter game teaches kids to think logically and quickly process large amounts of data. Rather than passively absorbing content from, say, a TV show, a video game requires the player’s constant input to tell the story.

2. Video games are social. The stereotype of the pasty-faced adolescent sitting in his mom’s basement playing video games on his own is as outdated as Space Invaders. Many games have thriving online and offline fan-bases, and a community component that strongly encourages social interaction.

3. Video games provide positive reinforcement. Most video games are designed to allow players to succeed and be rewarded for that success. Different skill levels and a risk-and-reward gaming culture mean that kids are not afraid to fail and will take a few chances in order to achieve their ultimate goal.

4. Video games teach strategic thinking. Video games teach kids to think objectively about both the games themselves and their own performance. While there are many games that place a premium on strategy, most set an overall goal and give the gamer numerous ways in which he or she can achieve that goal. Players also get instant feedback on their decisions and quickly learn their own strengths and weaknesses.

5. Video games build teamwork. The vast majority of video games are now designed with cooperative play options. Whether it’s fighting off alien invaders, solving puzzles, or being on the same bobsleigh team, video games offer kids a wealth of opportunities to constructively work together.

6. Video games improve hand-eye coordination. Video games have been found to improve the balance and coordination of numerous patients from stroke victims to those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. There have even been studies that suggest that surgeons who regularly play video games make less mistakes in the operating theater than non-gamers. Even if your child is super-healthy and has no desire to be a surgeon or watch-maker, good hand-eye coordination is an invaluable skill to have.

7. Video games bring families together. If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em. Video games aren’t just for kids anymore. Ask your kids to teach you a few moves and you might find that Family Fun Night is every bit as enjoyable as those games of Clue and Monopoly used to be when you were a kid!

Comment by Dirge, posted 5/14/2014, 4:05 PM:

I myself am a gamer and honestly my life has changed. Before I played video games a lot I didn't want to go to school but I got them played went to first day of school 8 years ago and have been regarded as gifted throughout my school experience.
Comment by joey, posted 4/23/2014, 2:18 PM:

this isn't just for children but adults as well all gaming consoles should be more based on education to encourage learning i think games can be used to train people on the job or at home for better work related skills like construction or electrical work ect. not only that governments will save money on costs on schools and food it would be cheaper to educate people through there gaming consoles then to pay for fuel to bring them to schools this is the age of information
Comment by Levi B., posted 4/23/2014, 9:34 AM:

Awesome article. I believe every word of it.As an avid gamer i think that this article makes a lot of sense.:-)
Comment by Timothy Wu, posted 4/22/2014, 9:33 PM:

I am not allowed to play on the weekdays so I am trying to write an essay to try to convince my mom. Thanks for your article, and I will site it.
Comment by kaden neighbors, posted 4/2/2014, 1:11 PM:

i believe that video games are great to a certain extent. just because there are some positives to it doesn't mean you should spend all your time on it. as a gamer i love video games and it would be a shame if i wasn't allowed to play them. Great article!!!
Comment by pen, posted 3/19/2014, 3:26 AM:

very good i believe everything
Comment by That Guy, posted 2/28/2014, 6:40 PM:

Nice! I used some of your information on a paper for school and cited your page.
Comment by Mickey mixon, posted 2/27/2014, 10:06 PM:

This is superb article and it is informative!
Comment by John Smith, posted 2/21/2014, 1:58 PM:

Love it. Maybe i can get my mom to buy Call Of Duty: Ghosts for me.
Comment by Daniel, posted 1/25/2014, 1:33 AM:

Great post. I agree that gaming can be a force for the greater good. :) I also enjoyed this video on the topic: http://gamecertified.com/can-playing-video-games-be-good-for-you-this-is-what-studies-have-shown/ All good reasons to be playing video games! Yeah!
Comment by poopy pants, posted 1/24/2014, 10:26 AM:

this a good website for my kids thx.
Comment by Bob, posted 1/23/2014, 4:33 PM:

This is awesome,I never thought of it this way!!!
Comment by Irvine, posted 1/21/2014, 9:28 PM:

I could not play only on the weekends and my mom makes a excuse and when I showed it to her I get to play so thank you for this artical
Comment by Dean, posted 1/21/2014, 3:21 PM:

I'm seeing some people completely pushing gaming aside as a waste of time and honestly, I feel that being close-minded is your loss. Don't let your "traditional" mindset keep your kids from enjoying themselves and expanding their horizons. Times are changing.
Comment by Brandon (Occupation: 8th grade Honors student, PC gamer), posted 1/14/2014, 6:03 PM:

It seemed unfair when my mom started not allowing me to play any at ALL. Several months ago, I was allowed to at that time and I had 3.7 grades, also played outside a lot, and I was happy. But now, she doesn't let me anymore, so now my grades are terrible (Ds/Bs), I don't feel "happy" anymore, and I get more envious every day when I go to talk to my friends and they are talking about games. What do you guys think about this? A reply would be very appreciated on what you think. Thanks in adv.
Comment by Christopher, posted 1/10/2014, 1:53 PM:

I myself am a gamer. I may not be a parent. But for the parents that read this, in your day and age you had mostly music. Now think for a second, what would you do if your parents took that away from you? For all the people out there that say that vidogames are so bad but have never played one a day in their lives, just because the technology is so confusing to you and you don't understand it doesn't mean its evil or bad. grow up already. Play one and see for yourself.
Comment by Andrew, posted 1/9/2014, 5:21 PM:

Thanks this really helped for my speech but can you leave some game examples next time? Thanks.
Comment by Javier Rodriguez, posted 12/12/2013, 1:13 PM:

Amazing! I love this because this post can help me think abut this for my paragraph. Thank YOU FYI I'm teenager gamer and i didn't know about this for children. WOW!
Comment by s, posted 11/20/2013, 3:36 PM:

finally someone who agrees with me!!:);)
Comment by Drew, posted 11/20/2013, 2:26 PM:

Still doing my research paper for my class, very great website... fanominal!!!!
Comment by Mason, posted 11/13/2013, 10:17 PM:

This will help with my speech topic. Thx!!!
Comment by jack, posted 11/13/2013, 4:49 PM:

This webside is really good!! It helped me do me homework!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by Tommy Chason , posted 11/13/2013, 9:21 AM:

This is very Fact-Based and will help my further research,Thank You
Comment by Drew, posted 11/7/2013, 1:59 PM:

I think this is correct because the child increases determination trying to beat a level, and when they finally beat it they look back and say I beat that level, no matter how bad life IRL is they always think themselves as commanders in a game. Who new, I never expected a mom to say this. This was very helpful and my research paper for class on how video games are good for you. Thx!!!!!!!!
Comment by Jakob, posted 11/6/2013, 7:17 PM:

I like video games and there are plenty of ways they can teach problem solving team work strategy and quick thinking evan math in gmaes like minecraft
Comment by Poor Richard, posted 11/6/2013, 1:02 PM:

So true! Wait until mom and dad hear this!
Comment by Dylan Hulver, posted 10/29/2013, 11:42 AM:

so iread this post and thought to my self i am a hard core gammer and i do bennifet to alll of these and yes theres nothing like going outside and smelling the fresh air but why would you take video games away from your child if there posative honistly i want my child to think and be socal going outside most childreen are not so Gop ahead take ur childrens Games away ur just hurting them in the end
Comment by Emily Luacs, posted 10/29/2013, 7:44 AM:

This website is so true and helped me on a school assignment THANKS!!!!! :)
Comment by ezra sanford, posted 10/29/2013, 7:38 AM:

lets go moms!!!!!!
Comment by «SP?RT??25», posted 10/28/2013, 10:41 PM:

Video games are nutritious for the brain only if their kept in limit and ratings and warnings are followed. Steam all the way.
Comment by dave, posted 10/22/2013, 10:18 AM:

thats not true!!! you should spend a lot more time outside than in!
Comment by dougie, posted 10/19/2013, 11:03 AM:

thats why i still play for these reasons :)
Comment by Christian, posted 1/23/2013, 9:49 PM:

I wrote about this in school for a persuasive essay(in my own words of course). I got an A, could've gotten an A but I had a few gramatical errors, still this is a great topic to write about if you're a gamer like me
Comment by Jose Lavalle , posted 1/15/2013, 2:20 PM:

My Opinion - I think that Video Games are beneficial for public schools and kids. Reason #1 - Video Games improve hand eye coordination and things of that nature. Reason #2 - Video Games also allow for better problem solvers. Fact to Support Reason #1 - Straight from the passage "Video games have been found to improve balance and coordination" Fact to Support Reason #2 - Straight from the passage "Video Games get kids to think"
Comment by zach, posted 1/9/2013, 8:19 AM:

thats so true
Comment by secret poop, posted 1/9/2013, 7:08 AM:

This is really good
Comment by Kathy, posted 1/8/2013, 11:58 AM:

If you deleted the word 'video' from this post it would ring just as true and make a whole lot more sense if you listen to your intuition.
Comment by jabrah, posted 12/25/2012, 1:51 PM:

I don't agree. Shouldn't we using our time wisely? Shouldn't we be facing reality than escape from it? I know you mentioned some benefits, but they are very few. These skills can also be gained in a different way. When it comes to fun, I think mingling with nature is the best! Personal opinion.
Comment by Jack, posted 12/11/2012, 1:57 PM:

This really helped in school!!
Comment by Game Lover, posted 12/2/2012, 3:01 PM:

I love this post!!! LOL
Comment by ..., posted 12/2/2012, 1:12 PM:

Video games can be a good thing and a bad thing. Its all about how much you play them. If you play constantly-yes it could be unhealthy. But if you play them every once and awhile, and not completely shun the outside world it does have positive effects. It completely is biased on the player...
Comment by Sarah, posted 11/19/2012, 10:06 AM:

Some positive aspects - perhaps. But lots of evidence that they actually do the opposite when it comes to nurturing the part of the brain charged with problem-solving and self-restraint. http://ow.ly/fprf2
Comment by Ecstatic, posted 8/30/2012, 8:19 AM:

I'm glad someone finally said it!
Comment by bill, posted 8/21/2012, 9:36 PM:

Video games are a waste of time, kids should go outside
Comment by Laura, posted 8/16/2012, 8:28 AM:

Love this post! Some great (free) ones for boys can be found online at playtruckgames.net
Comment by An with Motion Math, posted 6/7/2012, 10:09 AM:

Love this post - these are some of the reasons I think gaming is a great platform for learning.
Comment by Mercy Xavier , posted 5/7/2012, 1:44 AM:

Wow!!! I never thought off all this. This is really good. I love it
Comment by hey, posted 3/25/2012, 9:50 AM:

Comment by ramses diaz, posted 2/14/2012, 9:13 AM:

I love this
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