We know that online gaming has evolved from a common leisure activity you can do with friends to a very profitable career. But even to this day, some parents still think that video games are a waste of time and do nothing beneficial to society. This way of thinking is a thing of the past and must be debunked to make parents and other doubtful individuals realize that online gaming can be more than having fun.
Know that gaming, in general, has positive effects on an individual that can become beneficial to his or her community in the future. However, adverse effects are still present despite the myriad of benefits online gaming has on a person. Understanding the good and the bad allows you to balance the two out when introducing online gaming to your child.
Below are a few benefits of online gaming to kids as well as its negative effects if monitored poorly.
The Positive Effects of Online Gaming
Develop Social Skills
Contrary to popular belief, online gaming can develop social skills. Children can build their social circles beyond their local communities and have the opportunity to gain friends from other parts of the world. Players learn to work with one another, helping them build relationships while playing along the way. This immersive gaming experience is why the consumer electronics industry have developed microphones and headphones exclusively for gaming. In this manner of developing social skills, individuals with autism or children who have difficulty socializing in person can be comfortable when interacting with other people they play with online.
Improve Hand-Eye Coordination
Most parents believe that playing sports is the only way kids can improve their hand-eye coordination. Playing video games can help your kid out on his or her coordination as well since online gaming require above average hand-eye coordination to be played properly. Preschoolers using Wii and playing interactive games also have better motor skills.
Hone Decision-Making Skills
As mentioned above, kids interact with other individuals and make decisions when playing with other people. Co-op or multiplayer games require players to make quick decisions without losing precision and focus. Many of these games need players to think quickly and precisely to gain desirable results. These types of scenarios make online gaming a vital tool in honing one’s judgment and decision-making skills.
Enhance Critical Thinking
Besides decision-making skills, kids who play online games need to think critically. Action games, in particular, require players to decide quickly in given situations, forcing them to solve specific problems at the moment. This is what online games are all about, evaluating situations and making sound judgments during that specific time. Because of this, online gamers enhance their critical thinking abilities and teach kids the importance of tackling problems in different angles.
Online Gaming can be Educational
Educators today are now incorporating online games to teach their students. These games help motivate students to learn various lessons better and have fun at the same time. By using the right kind of games, teachers can instruct and assist their students in learning concepts about grammar, math, science, and the like while eliminating boredom in teaching them the conventional way.
Beware: There are Negative Effects, Too
Aggression & Unwanted Values
Online gaming can be competitive, making some kids more aggressive and irritable which can carry over in real life. There are also games that may depict women in a bad light, either objectifying them or deeming them as inferior to men. Young and impressionable players may be instilled with this kind of sexism and believe in these wrong values when they’re not kept in check.
Because online gaming can be so immersive, some players may neglect their health altogether and choose to play all day. If kids aren’t monitored in this aspect, they may dislike participating in physical activities and end up unhealthy and develop certain disorders or sickness. Excessive gaming can lead to obesity, muscular problems, postural issues, or video-induced seizures, among other concerns.
Understanding Balance is Key
When it comes to online games, the pros can outweigh the cons if given enough proper attention. Kids who aren’t interested in playing sports may find ways to express their frustration through video games. Along with this, shy children can also discover their competitive side. Research has also shown that gamers believe that their social life and cognitive skills have improved becomes of gaming.
Balance is the key to having a healthy gaming lifestyle. For parents, it’s best to try the game yourself to understand what your kids are getting themselves into and the world they’re entering. Opt to restrict or monitor the games they play and how long they can play in a day. Along with these, monitor their activity online as well so that you can prevent them from interacting with strangers and giving away personal information.
In the end, online gaming can have numerous benefits to future generations. For this to happen, parents must also help their kids develop healthy habits when playing games.