Adam Knych on the Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games for Kids
Many parents in the 21st century have the belief that video games are non-educational distractions. The truth is that while video games do have a negative connotation surrounding them, they can be very beneficial to both children and adults. Gaming can help develop cognitive skills and improve memory and spatial awareness, among other benefits.
Just as physical exercise helps in improving and strengthening your muscles, cognitive games help to indulge one’s brain in constant stimulation, leading to improved brain performance.
As we look at the benefits of gaming, Adam Knych, also known as FinalBossTV, shares his thoughts on how kids can benefit from starting this activity at a young age:
Video games have created a fun and engaging way of connecting with people and can act as an important teaching tool in developing social skills. Playing virtually, gamers often rely on teamwork and communication in order to be successful, which leads to users communicating with one another in order for the team to progress. Video games can help develop cooperation skills, strategic thinking skills, and supporting skills as players have the option to work together to form alliances and create teams who operate cooperatively.
“The coolest part about gaming is that you have the opportunity to make friends globally. This means getting to connect with anyone, anywhere, and with no barriers,” said FinalBossTV, “This is something you can’t do when playing board games. When it’s digital, it’s easy to share and connect in a different way, which is especially important during the current pandemic.”
Virtual gaming also supports the social skills of children living with disabilities. A platform known as Able Gamers gives kids, teens, and adults with disabilities custom gaming setups, including modified controllers and special assistive technology devices that let players play with their eyes. This empowers these players to have fun with their friends and family and socially interact with other gaming members, allowing them to socialize in ways they otherwise could not.
Kids who play video games are actually improving their hand-eye coordination, and it’s not just because they’re using the controller. How? When you play a video game, you have to navigate a virtual world using what you see on the screen. The more you do it, the better your hand-eye coordination gets. In fact, research from the medical journal PLOS One found that this can benefit adults as well, noting that surgeons who played video games improved their hand-eye coordination and precise muscle movement.
Memory and Problem-Solving
When kids play video games, they’re actually exercising their brain as well as their fingers. In addition to improving their hand-eye coordination, playing video games can help kids with their problem-solving skills and improve their memory.
In a study conducted by the University of Rochester, researchers found that kids who play video games can improve their problem-solving skills more than their counterparts who do not. The study found that young adults who played video games for at least three hours per week for three years were better problem-solvers than those who didn’t play video games.
“Gaming can actually teach kids valuable problem-solving skills that can help them in the future once they enter the real world,” said FinalBossTV, “For example, in the popular kids game Minecraft, players are given a blank canvas and are tasked with making their way in the world. This gives them the opportunity to recognize the problem in front of them and solve it.”
In addition to increasing one’s problem-solving abilities, a study from the University of California, Irvine found that children who played video games with a larger memory load improved their verbal memory by 20 percent over the course of a year.
Children are naturally curious from a young age, and as their brain’s cognitive skills develop, it is crucial that they begin engaging in activities that will stimulate their minds. It is during these formative years that they develop specific skills, such as the ability to focus attention, which will form the foundation for all future learning. The numerous benefits of gaming are well-documented and can help the youth of our future generations succeed in a new way.
SOURCE: Cambridge Global