A game a day turns your B-grade to an A

Sep 18, 2014
  Laimonas
1582

Do you children play computer games and it worries you that they are wasting their time?

Or maybe the types of games they play worry you most?

Today, the video game industry is booming like never before. Companies are launching new games almost everyday, and the attention of our young ones is devoured by what they see on screen. A child spending more than four hours a day in front of the computer has become common, and parents are becoming less and less concerned about it.

But what is truly happening? Why are games so addictive when they don’t have any lasting value (except instant fun) to the player? Let’s check out some statistics:

• By the age of 21, the average child will have spent 10,000 hours playing video games;

• The average 8-12 year old plays video games for 13 hours per week;

76% of parents believe that the parental controls available in all new video game consoles are useful;

• Parents are involved in their kids’ game purchases 89% of the time

[Source: TED conversation by the famous game designer Jane McGonial]

These statistics show that parents are concerned about their children spending too much time playing games, but they believe there is a positive effect from playing computer games.


Now, along with the ubiquitous (and extremely violent) first-person shooters, games companies have begun to develop titles to teach strategic thinking, train the mind and improve creativity. For example the Nintendo Wii platform has completely changed the way children play games and now they are not locked into their chairs – they get to play virtual games with movement-tracking software.

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wiikids-ddc0991b.jpg

Kids playing Wii via @tinkerbrad Flick user through CC 2.0 BY-SA 


These types of games aren’t new to the industry, but they haven't made a big stride like their competitors. But this trend of using gaming to teach children to do something is growing constantly; thanks to educational game development companies who are working hard at it. 

Let me give you an example: There were days when learning to program involved really complex activities and boring black screens. But this isn't the case anymore. 

Programs like scratch teach kids to code with the help of fun gaming that allows programming cute little creatures to move on the screen. The logic is just the same. But the difference is that it is a LOT more fun than they way it used to be.

Why not Chess?

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1a-18844a9c.jpg


One of the oldest games in the book, chess, is traditionally thought of as a game played between two old men in a park. Today, developers have turned chess into a completely different concept whilst maintaining the benefits associated with its strategic thinking. You no longer have to sit at a table and move figures around a board in the hopes of checkmating your opponent – now,Chess has become a Child's play. 

Chessity has been working with success to make chess learning more fun, and effective by combining the technologies of gaming. Problem solving and analytical thinking has never been so much fun!

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castleassault2-ccc4322e.jpg

 

By picking the best move in a given chess problem, your chess piece will climb a step higher than your friends’ pieces in a race to the top of the castle. This brings a whole new experience to playing the game - and it also trains your brain!

Now, although extremely violent games and how people get mislead by it belong to one side of the spectrum; the other side of the spectrum looks optimistic in bringing about a learning revolution. So, I think the coming years will turn the "Is Video game -- good or bad" debate in a new positive channel, and that schools can adapt their methods using these new technologies.  

Do you allow your kids to play video games? What is your opinion about these games-- Do they steal the innocense of childhood, or do you think maybe there’s more to those games than mindless violence? 


We would love to hear your story – you can share it in the comment section below.

Have 4 more minutes? Here's a video by Jane McGonigal on Truths & Myths in Gaming

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