Benefits of Video Games for Kids

Have you ever wished your kids would put down the console and pick up a book?

We get it.

You’re stressed about screen time, have concerns about unsuitable content, and are anxious gaming will impact academic performance.

Despite their widespread popularity, video games are often met with skepticism.

But what if we said there are video gaming wins that might just outweigh your worries?

Of course, we support your literary leanings, but let’s not overlook the fact that gaming can actually benefit our children in lots of ways, which we’ll explore below.

But before we get into the positive aspects of video games, we’re going to quickly challenge one of the main misconceptions that surround them.

“Video games are just mindless entertainment!”

This seems like a good place to start. Because, yes – video games are often highly entertaining – but they can also be powerful tools for learning and personal development. And while some contain graphic scenes and violent themes, it’s equally possible to find games offering educational experiences, such as LEGO Smart Dash.

In fact, many of the negative effects commonly attributed to video games are the result of unregulated use or excessive screen time – and we look at how you can monitor and manage these in our article on setting healthy limits on video games.

So having smashed some stereotypes, let’s turn our attention to the benefits that video games can – when approached responsibly – bring to your child’s life.

Cognitive benefits

Think of video games as virtual playgrounds – like the fantastical world of Super Mario – where every level is packed with puzzles and challenges that require kids to analyze information, devise strategies, and overcome obstacles.

Just as playing Minecraft requires problem-solving skills and spatial awareness, making it an engaging game for the cognitive development of players of all ages.

As children get to grips with complex game scenarios, they develop critical-thinking skills that can be applied to real-world situations. And because many video games require players to remember rules, characters, and storylines, they test a child’s ability to retain and remember information. Last but not least, the task- or objective-based nature of games can do wonders for their concentration levels.

Educational benefits

You know the saying: every day is a school day.

Whatever your age there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. And even though we’re adults, we’re not as wise as we like to think we are (but don’t tell anyone).

So, how about this for a twist on the popular phrase – every play is a school day.

Educational games and game-based learning platforms cover a wide range of topics – from maths and science to languages and geography – and are designed to make learning interesting and inspiring. By engaging with these kinds of games, children can develop a love of learning that extends beyond the screen.

Not only that, almost any game can enhance a child’s language and literacy skills as they read and interpret game text and dialogue. And let’s face it – being exposed to new vocabulary in a dynamic, immersive environment is likely to be far more compelling than in a classroom setting. Sorry, school teachers everywhere…

Social and emotional benefits

Coordinating a successful strategy. Collaborating to solve a puzzle. Coming up with a fair way of resolving conflicts. Multiplayer video games require teamwork and teach kids valuable social skills, such as cooperation and communication.

And then there’s connectivity. Because far from being an isolating experience, children can bond with their peers over shared gaming interests and even build long-lasting friendships – whether playing online with family members and friends or participating in a broader gaming community.

Last but not least, video games can help kids foster a sense of individuality and self-expression as they design characters and delve into a virtual world. Which leads us nicely to…

Creativity and imagination

Fantastical landscapes, inspiring narratives, and diverse characters. Video games have the power to transport young players to incredible places – encouraging them to use their imagination and inviting them to explore new ideas and perspectives.

Far from being a passive experience, many video games offer the opportunity to customize and create avatars, levels, or content. Not only does this boost kids’ artistic and inventive thinking, but it can also give them a sense of ownership and accomplishment.

Before we sign off, let’s talk about switching off – because connecting gaming interests with offline activities is just one of the things you can do to make screen time more balanced.

Kids can draw inspiration – quite literally – from their time online. So set them the task of painting a scene, writing a story, or building a LEGO structure that’s inspired by their favorite game.

You could even bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds by discussing how they might one day pursue a career in game design.

As parents, it’s up to us to actively engage in our children’s gaming experiences by monitoring content, regulating screen time, and guiding them towards games offering educational outcomes.

By doing so, we empower our kids to develop cognitive, educational, and social skills and realize their creative potential – helping them grow into well-rounded individuals who are ready to tackle the real world.