Why videogames are good for children
February 17, 2015  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Year after year, we are cautioned by the presence of violence in videogames. It´s obvious that some are not appropriate for young children but many parents however, influenced by the negativity of this type of message, discard them completely. The truth is that certain videogames provide an enriching experience and even an educational one. Especially if we keep in mind that, in a society like ours, we should not discourage them from learning through technology. So, what benefits do videogames provide for children? And how can parents enhance the positive aspects of playing with them?

First and foremost, we should not leave them on their own in front of the computer or any digital screen. The key is to join them while they play. Not necessarily as a way of controlling them but as a means of sharing.  According to Colin Wilkinson, a children toy developer at 1st Playable Productions: “We should help them interpret the games they play much like we do when we comment on the story or the characters of a book. We must encourage them to ask questions and tell us what they like and don’t like.”

Videogames can be a great learning tool so children understand the world they live in and the society (or societies) in which they could live in. In fact, videogames, on occasions work in the same way as role- playing does.

If we analyse the contents together and allow them to share their opinion, we will be helping them cultivate a critical mind.

But this isn’t the only benefit. On a very basic level, videogames also help children improve their fine motor skills as well as their hand-eye coordination. A good example of this is the FeberCup race, which we featured here at The Toy Blog.

Pre-schoolers on the other hand, need a hand improving their language skills and spatial vision. And videogames provide this as well.  Children even learn how to make decisions and develop their leadership skills.

If this weren’t enough, videogames are also a great vehicle of expressing emotions and encouraging their creativity, just as we pointed out in our post about the Hello Kitty Club apps.


Learning with videogames

Different international studies have determined that children who play with educational videogames are less likely to develop attention disorders in class. Why? Well, normally attention disorders derive from a state of nervousness or not understanding what is being explained to them.

We know that children learn by playing. The problem is that we have not yet assimilated that videogames are toys too. A toy that allows them to learn new concepts in an entertaining way because they are based on repetition, yet lack the pressure of an exam.

For children ages 3 to 5, videogames can be very useful in terms of getting familiarized with their first lessons at school. There are plenty of games in the market that are all about letters, numbers, colours and phonetics and basic math skills too.

Which is the best videogame for your children?

Finding a game for your children can become a challenge.  The Entertainment Software Rating Board has designed a system that teaches parents what games include appropriate content and they´ve divided them into age groups. Each videogame featured on the ESRB has a special marking and review.

It serves as a good reference point but it´s not the only thing we should keep in mind. There is no better judge than a parent to determine if the content of appropriate for his or her children.

Given that many games are sold as educational but aren´t everything they promise, we suggest you guide your self by other parents´ opinions. We suggest you read the comments that other users write about online games.

Did you know that videogames offered so many benefits t kids? Do you play videogames with them 

Photo Credits: Sergey Galyonkin

Photo Credits: Fabrizio Sciami


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