Do you believe video games teach your children to be violent menaces to society? Do you think that video games don’t allow for a positive influence on your children? If you nodded in confirmation, allow me to challenge your skepticism.
Video games host a plethora of cognitive benefits to anyone that plays them, regardless of the common misconceptions that they influence anti-social behaviors and desensitize kids to danger. Take your bias and throw it out the door as you learn the truth about video games.
Increased Common Knowledge
More often than not, video game developers add just a touch of real life to their games. City landscapes in games like the “Watchdogs” series allow players to travel to a different city and state and experience a sliver of the culture that resides there, thus allowing them to learn a bit of trivia about that city. “Watchdogs” also gives players a closer look at what our own government would look like if we were constantly under surveillance with limited control of the internet. Games like “Detroit: Become Human” use civil rights as a main theme and show the player how people view and treat those who are different.
Better Problem-Solving Skills
Most video games are filled with puzzles and problems to be solved. The “Batman: Arkham” series requires players to solve riddles through either solving a puzzle or finding an answer within their surroundings, which often leads to looking at things from alternative perspectives. All games involve conquering obstacles. The more obstacles you or your child gets through in a video game, the better the problem-solver is that walks away from the game.
In order to play a game, you must be able to kick your short attention span in order to pay attention to what you’re doing. This includes concentrating on what your opponent’s weakness is, finding a solution to a puzzle, or even scouring a landscape to find something rare.
Enhanced Hand-Eye Coordination
To play games like “Call of Duty,” “Fortnite,” “Battlefield,” and other shooter games, players will constantly need to look out for enemy players. This means that they will need to move their fingers and thumbs quickly to look around, aim quickly at their opponents, and defeat them all while not dying themselves.
Improved Ability to Study
When a player is stuck on an opponent, they must find out a way to beat them, leading to them scouring the game and even the internet to find out what equipment and techniques are needed to beat the opponent. In fighting games (“Injustice 2,” “Tekken”) when a player is repeatedly beat, they must study how a player uses certain characters and fight them with a character that appropriately counteracts the enemy. This character could be someone they already know or a new character they’ve never used before, which means that they must learn an entirely new move set.
Better Social Skills and Teamwork Abilities
Games with multiplayer modes, like “Call of Duty” or “Assassin’s Creed Unity,” require players to work in teams to finish a goal or defeat an enemy. It also allows players to meet people from around the world or even play with friends who’d be unable to hang out in person.
Improved Decision-Making Skills
Players have to make quick decisions or be defeated. In fighting games, they must figure out what combo to use to defeat their opponent within less than a second. They must determine which character is right for battle and figure out what needs to be sacrificed to secure a win.
Better Mental Health
Video games have the added bonus of warding off the stress of a child’s or an adult’s day. With lower stress levels, Mom Junction reported that aggression may be reduced. Some video games even make the players move. Games like the “Just Dance” series allow the player to simulate a party environment and get some exercise with the game’s exercise mode.
Video games can have a huge and positive impact on anyone’s life. They allow you to live out your fantasies and dreams. If you still have some misconceptions, try playing one. Stores like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Gamestop all have areas inside them where you’re able to preview playing certain games.
Best Games with Reasons to Play
“Call of Duty: Black Ops III” (Xbox One, Playstation 4) — $39.99 — A semi-futuristic shooter game with three modes: story, zombies, and multiplayer — Provides better hand-eye coordination, decision-making, social skills, teamwork, and concentration
“Injustice 2” (Xbox One, Playstation 4) — $37.99 — A fighter game based off of characters in DC Comics that allows you to customize their looks — Provides better decision-making, social skills, concentration, and problem-solving skills
“Horizon Zero Dawn” (Playstation 4) — $39.99 — An adventure game set in a future that seems more prehistoric than futuristic — Provides better problem-solving skills, decision-making, common knowledge, health, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and ability to study
“Fortnite” (Xbox One, Playstation 4) — Free or $59.99 — A free-for-all shooter game in which the player is dropped from a plane into a cartoonish landscape where they can build and destroy buildings and fight up to 100 enemy players — Provides better decision-making, concentration, health, problem-solving skills, social skills, and hand-eye coordination
Written by: Bryce Ethridge