There has been a huge debate about the positive and negative effects of video games on children. The side that believes that video games are bad for children have pointed out things such as a rise in obesity, a drop in school performance and youth violence as reasons why children should not be allowed to play video games. However, these detractors fail to look at the benefits playing video games provides.
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One of the most important benefits of playing video games is that children develop extremely good hand-eye coordination. People who play these games view an action on the screen and must react to it using complex hand motions on the controller. Often times the player is controlling several different aspects of the character at the same time, such as running, jumping, and shooting at an enemy. This increases visual spacing and hand-eye coordination because the player has to keep track of all the elements at the same time.
Resource Management and Multitasking
Video games are often multilayered stories that require a player to solve problems using the items he has. Many times these items are finite and must be used for multiple objectives in the game. This not only teaches a player to conserve his resources and use them wisely, it also teaches the player to think about completing multiple objectives at the same time using these finite resources. Both of these skills are necessary in the business world of today.
Strategy and Analysis
Many of the games today have several solutions for solving in-game problems. A player must analyse each situation and come up with a solution to the problem. A player must strategise the best way to achieve his goal. Many times this comes in the form of being able to deduce the next logical (and sometimes) illogical step in a process.
Hypothesis Testing and Risk-Taking
After a player has decided what the next step to solving a problem is, he will form a hypothesis that must be tested (i.e. The next step seems to be X, so if I do Y, Z should occur). This formation of a hypothesis is vital to the scientific method and will help children academically. Once a hypothesis is formed, they must attempt to do the action. Many times a player will not be correct in his assessment of the situation, but he learns the need to take a risk in order to see if it works. In a video-game setting the risk is usually minimal, but it informs children that risk-taking is an acceptable part of solving problems.
Teamwork and Cooperation
Finally, many games are multiplayer games which require a player to work in a team and corporate with others. At a young age, this helps children learn how to communicate with others to get a task complete and to cooperate with others. It also teaches children how to negotiate to get their ideas in and learn to accept the ideas of others.
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