Sometimes it seems to you that your child does not stop spending hours playing games that sometimes (or almost always) don’t make you understand why they are so interesting to them. Then you go back to your own childhood and remember that everything that entertained you, your parents didn’t always understand, so it gets a little easier for you.
However, when you just think about the fact that your child could neglect other activities and obligations because of video games, such as school, extracurricular activities, and hanging out with friends, the concern reappears. Not to mention that, because of the elements of the unreal that are present in some games, you imagine all possible scenarios regarding how your child experiences and comprehends them and what is going on in their heads.
Fortunately, you will feel great relief after we tell you that we have read the reports of numerous studies conducted on this topic. Thanks to them, if you decide to read them, you will get to know the good sides of video games.
Strengthening Cognitive Functions
You must have caught yourself watching your child play their favorite video game from the sidelines while you wait for your Sunday lunch to be finished. And you saw that their focus was at a high level, and you also could not help noticing their ability to divide attention into several things at once, as well as to instantly divert attention to unexpected circumstances that appeared on the other side of the screen and react quickly as to avoid negative consequences in the game.
With all this, but also thanks to a good assessment of the current situation, planning the next steps, and remembering what has already happened, as well as orientation in space and drawing conclusions, the transition to the next level arrived before lunch. Who knows, your child might turn into a professional gamer in later years of his life, which is quite a lucrative occupation now with so many video game tournaments called eSports, large money prizes, and best bookmakers at Bookmaker-Expert.com offering odds for them.
Social skills are learned from birth and are important for daily functioning, and video games can be helpful in their development. A large number of games can be played by multiple players at the same time. In addition to being good fun for the whole family and friends, this helps the child learn the principles of teamwork.
As every game has someone who is a shade better, in a situation where the child is not a winner, they will learn how to cope with failure and control anger, which, you will agree with us, is a skill important for the quality of life, hand in hand with developing patience and the perseverance that will be necessary for all little (and big) video game aficionados who want to be declared winners next time.
In addition, some games can be played online, with those persons we may not know in real life. This means that the child will learn how to deal with those who don’t want to play by the rules of good behavior, but also how important the skill of resolving conflict is.
What to Pay Attention to?
However, there is something you need to pay attention to in order for your child to really experience only the benefits of playing video games.
First, make sure the content of the game is appropriate for the age of the child. The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) labels on the game box can help you with this, and you can also check this label for specific games on their website. Keep in mind that games with online components have special notes for such gaming because the language used in communication between players can be inappropriate for age and certain mechanics, such as common loot boxes, have been declared gambling in certain countries like Belgium.
There are a total of 7 tags:
- EC (Early Childhood) – games intended for preschool children,
- E (Everyone) – games suitable for all ages,
- E10 + (Everyone 10+) – games whose content is suitable for everyone older than 10 years,
- T (Teen) – games for everyone over 13,
- M (Mature) – games suitable for those aged 17 and over,
- AO (Adults Only) – games suitable only for adults,
- RP (Rating Pending) – games that have not yet received a label.
In addition to this, there is a PEGI (Pan European Game Information) system, where, unlike the ESRB, the labels are expressed numerically according to the age for which the game is appropriate. What is the state of the PEGI system when it comes to a particular video game, you can very easily check on their online platform.
Another thing you must not forget is an agreement with the child about how much time they will spend playing games. Just remember the beginning of the story – although this type of entertainment has positive sides, including encouraging creativity, you don’t want your child to neglect all other obligations and activities because of that, do you?
We hope that it is at least a little easier for you now when it comes to your child’s playing video games and that you will be happy to join them in at least one game – the one before Sunday lunch.