Gone are the days when gaming was seen as just a leisure activity. Parents and guardians would label gaming as a waste of time or something that didn’t give a constructive output to the amount of energy and time spent on it. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Of course, excess of anything is bad but we’re talking here about games played in a reasonable amount of time and how they contribute to growth. Both mental and physical. With numerous studies nodding positively in their regard, gaming has established itself as a bolster for the development of the human mind and psyche.
Games and Socializing
Many kids, often in their early stages, feel shy in bolstering enough confidence to talk to each other. Which is perfectly okay and natural. However, games can help fast-forward this process by promoting a healthy channel of communication. Competitive classroom games like Kahoot reward children when they play with or against each other.
A small token economy is generated in the form of points which then fosters social development. In turn, academic scores are vastly improved on a general scale with a side-by-side increase in co-curricular activities like declamations and debates. Kahoot uses the internet to generate intellectual and fun questions to engage students so you’d want to make sure there is good internet to back up this process. CenturyLink internet speed comes sufficiently equipped enough juice to handle multiple classrooms and their online activities all at once. This keeps teachers stress-free and children happily engaged.
Thanks to improvements in psychology and its understanding, many children can now be understood mentally for how they operate. People often develop ADHD from a young age and while this is relatively easy to diagnose, dealing with it isn’t. Virtual games such as augmented reality tic tac toe or math games help improve spatial attention with great emphasis on temporal attention as well.
Early years often develop difficulty in reading and speech which are often related to dyslexia. Grabbing their attention with helpful gaming constructs so they can ease into their tasks is something teachers can do for a fun, constructive learning experience.
Console games such as RPGs (Role Playing Games) have multiple options incorporated in them where players get choices to make and the story twists and turns according to those. The same can and is implemented in teaching games. A popular learning website, Khan Academy employs tasks in its quizzes where multiple-choice questions become milestones in a game environment.
Choosing the correct MCQ leads the player/student down the correct path and the wrong ones have them encounter dangerous fiends/ tougher questions/points deduction. The point is to enable each individual to think before solving or moving forward in their tasks and reward them for each correct decision. Similarly, each wrong decision sets them back a little so they can think and reflect on where they went wrong with helpful tips on how to get better at it.
With adeptness in decision-making, these young kids can empower themselves later in their lives to make tough decisions and become leaders in various industries.
Games over Books
We might receive a lot of contrasting comments on this but we’ll go ahead and put this in regardless. There are a ton of students in today’s world who don’t find reading as appealing as gaming. And let’s be honest, reading through idle text on a piece of paper isn’t as exciting as it is to play a game with characters, environments, and audio.
Games engage more of the brain and the senses and it is perfectly reasonable to be aligned more towards gaming in that regard. Because of this, children see books as a passive form of information but if we could incorporate the same amount of information in a game, it would be absorbed much more readily because of its interactivity. Students may also feel more inclined to explore more of what they learn and play in games. This leads to individual research and creates more possibilities for the dispersion of knowledge pertaining to the topic being studied.
Simulation games like Bee Simulator or Beyond Blue are perfect agents for spreading awareness among the young on the impacts of climate change. Educating the masses from a younger age on the importance of animals or, more holistically, our environment is very crucial. They learn how pivotal various species are for the sustenance of our world. How to treat and co-exist peacefully with each other. How to be kind. And how to take care of our world.
Games tend to incorporate reward points with how much students play them. Token economy is always seen as an exciting prospect for younger people. Samsung has also taken this up a notch and introduced endangered animals in its monthly walking platform. The more you walk, the more badges and goals you complete. While also beating your competition. This can be used by students as well.
Children who can’t enjoy the leisure of visiting parks or playing outdoors can use games as a substitute. Nintendo has been very crafty with this idea and introduced Wii sports which take sports like golf, boxing, skiing, tennis, and baseball and put you in the driver’s seat with its Nunchuk and regular controller that serves as your hands.
Players, especially kids, can then play just like a real player inside their TV lounge and improve on their haptic feedback and hand-eye motor coordination. These skills are of prime importance to a child’s development. In school, they can use the same skills developed to stand out in class activities and be much more attentive in their lessons.
Games have a lot to give. They shouldn’t be seen anymore as simple on-screen devices intended for a fun time. With our reasoning above and a little understanding from the elders, children should use gaming to propel themselves forward on multiple fronts. All it takes is a little compassion.