How Can Video Games Help Children’s Brain Development?
By Jamie Roy
Playing games is becoming an increasingly popular trend. During these days of lockdown due to a life-threatening virus called coronavirus, we all may find ourselves in a horrible, terrible, and stressful mood sometime. To improve our mood, many of us often play indoor games, especially on our mobile phones – Games like Ludo, PUBG, Valheim, Hitman 3 and Chess.
Video games have been blamed for contributing to violent behavior in young children, but they can also play a positive role in brain development. Some studies suggest that playing computer and video games encourages the formation of new connections between neurons, improving reaction time and mental sharpness. For example, chess can also be played online today, and you can enroll your kids in academy of chess, which is an exciting activity for children. It not only improves their knowledge but also helps in the development of their brain. Playing such games can support an adult better understanding abstract concepts like 3D space and physics laws.
Studies have shown that playing video games can help children’s brain development.
1. Prevents Behavioral Problems in Kids with ADHD
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) benefit from behavior modification strategies or treatment medications. Still, growing evidence shows that some video games can be an effective alternative treatment for ADHD in certain cases. It is because these games require players to pay attention and react quickly while multi-tasking continuously. Since people with ADHD naturally do when it comes to multi-tasking and staying focused, they would also improve in these areas if they played video games that needed intense concentration on more than one task.
2. Enhances Reading Comprehension
Video games that require players to read passages of text or listen to long audio cues can help kids become more familiar with the format of reading material. It, in turn, makes it easier for them to comprehend what they are reading, which in turn enables them to get better grades in school.
3. Lets Kids Learn from Mistakes
In a study published by the American Psychological Association, researchers found that children aged 8-11 who played video games rewarded them for reaching specific goals. They were better at planning how to achieve those goals than their classmates who did not play any video games. These researchers also discovered that playing video games also helped increase a child’s self-control and allowed them to learn from their mistakes.
4. Teaches Kids to Collaborate
Video games that offer multiplayer modes, such as Minecraft or FIFA, teach kids how to work together with other people to solve problems and complete tasks. It is an important skill for children who are still developing because it means they will be more likely to work together later in life without getting into fights or engaging in conflict. Video game developers are now starting to take advantage of this by creating educational games that require players to collaborate to win.
5. Develops New Habits
A study published online by the American Journal of Play found that video games allow pre-schoolers between the age of three and five to develop new habits, such as indicating a preference for healthy foods instead of a bowl of ice cream. Researchers found that kids who play games also learn to make lifestyle changes without their parents constantly reminding them.
6. Develops Motor Skills
Researchers who study everywhere, including Singapore, Switzerland, Oxford, and Iowa State University in the U.S., found that video games played on mobile devices that require players to swipe across the screen with their finger or thumb help strengthen fine motor skills in children. It includes those who suffer from conditions like cerebral palsy or developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Kids who took part in this study were taught how to play touchscreen video games and then given tests to check their improvement in motor skills before and after the study. The results showed that children who played mobile games improved their fine motor skills by about 12 percent, while those who didn’t play video games did not improve.
7. Improves Math Skills
In a study done by Hamm, Germany, they found that kids aged 4-6 who played action-based video games for 5 minutes could answer math questions. They did this twice as fast when the video game was paused and completed as if they didn’t play any video games. Researchers believe that playing these video games helps increase a child’s concentration and develop quick reflexes, enabling them to solve maths problems more efficiently.
8. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
A study undertaken by a team of researchers from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University found that kids aged between seven and nine who regularly played action video games like Call of Duty improved their hand-eye coordination by up to 20 percent. Compared with children who did not play any video games beforehand. Researchers believe that gaming improves eye-hand coordination by closely linking visual information with physical movements. It enables players to take in things happening around them much more quickly than they would have if they hadn’t played any video games beforehand.
Yes, there are a lot of benefits to playing video games. If you or anyone you know has a child who is constantly glued to their computer screen and plays video games all the time, don’t be afraid. Maybe even encourage it as long as they aren’t neglecting school or friends for this! A small amount of gaming now and then isn’t going to hurt your child at all. However, if you feel like your child spends a little too much time on their consoles rather than outside playing with others their age, try getting them involved in activities such as sports or dance classes to help them socialize more and become fitter at the same time.