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The Case for Video Games

Updated: Apr 6, 2022


November 24th, 2021



David Peachment












 

The Case for Video Games



Video games have gotten a bad rap over the years for a number of reasons. From causing violence to turning minds into pudding, games get blamed for a medley of issues. I don’t want to spend this whole blog post focusing on the negative aspects of video games, but more so the positive ones like what video games can bring to young minds. In the next paragraph, I’ll quickly discuss some of the potential negatives and then get into the meaty positives following that.

First off, I do want to dispel the rumour that video games cause violence. There has not been a single study or research paper that has found a direct and causal link between video games and violence in the 40+ years games have been in the home. I myself was even involved heavily in a research study on the topic back when I was in university! There’s just simply no link. With any form of entertainment, there is always the possibility of spending too much time on it, ignoring other tasks and duties, and procrastinating from work. Setting clear boundaries and expectations is the best way to combat this! And regarding any additional potential negative benefit, I would reply with the tried and true “everything in moderation.” But now, let’s get into some of what video games can offer!



Hand-Eye Coordination and Critical Thinking


A couple of the skills I want to highlight are the development of hand-eye coordination and improving critical thinking. Video games significantly boost these skills as they are essential to succeed in games. Since video games require one to be able to translate what they see on screen to making their hands push some buttons on a controller, a kid has to develop lightning-fast reflexes to pass challenges and levels. They must learn to jump at the right time to avoid getting killed, they need to push buttons in the proper sequence in a timed event or risk losing, and they need to be able to avoid enemies quickly at the push of a button. Studies have even shown that kids who play video games regularly do develop better hand-eye coordination, which makes sense with what I’ve been saying in this paragraph.

And the other skill I want to touch on is critical thinking. Because most video games involve challenges to complete, levels to pass, and enemies to win against, there will be failure. With this failure, there is a search for success. That is where critical thinking enters into play. To finish the level, players will have to plan and think their way through to the end and what is required. Kids will need to consider all of the options, what is available to them, what hasn’t worked, and ultimately, what will work. This develops fine critical thinking skills that can be applied to other aspects of life.


Minecraft and Roblox

Now, of course, there is a medley of games that won’t have much lasting value. But some games such as Minecraft or Roblox offer so much more that other games don’t. And this is where some of the brilliance of games can seep through. These two games, in particular, foster an environment where creativity and design are the chief skills acquired while playing. Everything in the virtual world of these games can get shaped, designed, and created by the player themselves. They can build a castle, a forest, shape a new world, construct a man-made island, and so much more! The mechanics work in a similar way to Lego, where the player is given tons of different types of blocks and tools to create whatever they want! The sky is truly the limit!


And that just scratches the surface! Did you know that with Roblox and Minecraft, there are also components that allow kids to learn how to code and design their own video games? Kids can discover the fundamentals of computer programing while having fun with their favourite games! If you need help to get started, at Coded Minds, we offer some fantastic one-on-one learning to best set up your kid for success to learn the correct way! Or, if your child just wants to have some fun with friends while learning, we also offer some weekly clubs! You can check out both our Learning Sessions and our Clubs HERE.



I hope you’ve left this blog post with a little bit more interest in what video games can do for kids. They aren’t quite as scary as some people would have you believe, and they can even provide some great learning benefits! Plus, some games like Roblox and Minecraft have their own special features for acquiring new skills. Minecraft, for example, also has an entire educational edition specifically for learning. You can learn more about it HERE. The next time your child asks if they play a little Minecraft after dinner, you might want to reconsider what they could learn if they do play!


Until next time,

David Peachment

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