Students in today’s classrooms were born digital natives. They cannot recall life before the internet and digital devices being a staple of modern life. One of the ways that many young people engage with technology is through playing video games, which can be an incredibly effective teaching tool.
Now, you might be wondering, what are some educational benefits of video games?
Video games can provide a bunch of tangible educational benefits as well as help nurture soft skills in people of all ages. As they become more integrated into our lives, using consoles and applications as teaching tools can help prepare the next generation for a more increasingly virtual environment.
With the COVID-19 pandemic remaining a very real part of our lives, young people need to find new ways to interact with one another at a safe distance. Multiplayer video games feature online communication tools, ranging from voice to video and text. This can help provide an environment for students and their friends to partake in a shared interest together, especially when in-person interactions may be severely limited.
We should also acknowledge that parents should be mindful of whom their children are interacting with online. Be sure to check in with young gamers frequently and ask them about who they are playing games with. Remind them about the importance of protecting your personal information online, not sharing it with strangers, and to stick to playing with only personal friends as much as possible.
Critical Thinking And Problem Solving
Video games can also teach people to use their brains in multiple ways. From creating an effective winning strategy in a combat game to trying to outsmart AI on digital chess, a student can use gaming as a problem-solving teaching tool.
A classic game series like Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda demonstrates this rather well. The series combines a mix of adventurous exploration, frequent complex puzzle-solving, and plenty of action and storytelling. Through frequent puzzle solving, the player can improve their cognitive skills while also enjoying the other elements of the game that make it one of the most iconic titles in gaming history.
If you’re a fan of The Legend of Zelda, the 8BitCADE XL offers games with a similar playing style, such as Arduventure, Ardyina and Mini Rogue. Combine these RPG games with others in the Puzzle category to get your brain thinking while having fun – all community-coded.
Many excellent early childhood educational games also exist in the form of smartphone and tablet apps in addition to console games. Parents can download most of these games for free or for a few dollars and allow their children to entertain themselves while strengthening their brains at the same time.
Improved Hand-Eye Coordination
Did you know that action-oriented video games could help improve hand-eye coordination and possibly be an effective tool for teaching young people how to drive? A 2016 study revealed that people who play action games can experience an improvement in visuomotor control and their sensorimotor systems. The researchers also suggested that this could help prepare students for driving by functioning as a virtual training tool.
Another study from 2012 also found that playing action-oriented games can improve one’s multitasking abilities. The research concluded that playing a game with both primary and secondary tasks can enhance one’s performance of secondary tasks without interfering with accomplishing the primary objectives.
Many of today’s video games are far deeper and more sophisticated than generations past. Their deep narratives and expansive worlds often require the gamer to use their memories on an ongoing basis.
For example, the legendary title Super Mario 64 encourages players to play through the same level multiple times with slight variations to unlock new stars, which are needed to progress further. This repetition actively engages memory while introducing new problem-solving factors with each replay of a level.
Develop An Achievement-Oriented Mentality
Playing video games in healthy moderation helps foster a sense of accomplishment. For example, many games have benchmarks that signify important accomplishments to the player. The Playstation Trophies and X-Box Achievements create a long list of accomplishments for players to fulfill.
Parents can also use this as a way to teach their children the value of earning a reward. You can reward your child with extra time in front of a gaming console if they accomplish their schoolwork, clean up their room, etc.
Learning To Code Video Games
Products like our 8BitCADE and 8BitCADE XL empower individuals to learn how to code games independently. Along their journey of designing a console and coding their own games, a student can learn valuable skills that are necessary for the most in-demand careers in STEM fields. The best part? It results in a tangible finished product that they can enjoy after.
By teaching young people to code their own games, parents can provide their children with a valuable, lifelong skill that can result in rewarding career options in their adult lives. Adults who are looking to learn coding in a structured, guided way can also benefit from this.
Have questions about coding games yourself? Contact us anytime to learn more about how you can get started.