Playing games is an important part of childhood. But the way kids use games can have a significant impact on their development. Age-appropriate video games can help kids learn a range of skills, and they can provide a fun and interactive way to explore the world.
A game is an interactive goal-oriented activity with opponents to play against, and where a player can interfere with an opponent’s behavior (either directly or indirectly). Games are usually played with tokens—things that represent other things. These can be pawns on a board, dice, or even real-world items like coins or food. The rules of a game are defined by its environment, and the interactivity is created by players’ efforts to meet the game’s goals. Games can be abstract, such as hide-and-seek or tag, or they can follow a story, like in a role-playing game or an action movie. Some games may even be played in an entirely artificial environment, such as a virtual world.
Most games are created by a group of people working together to create a computer program or an electronic device that runs the game. This complex computer code controls all aspects of the game, including the setting, characters, objects, and the rules that govern their interaction.
For example, a first-person shooter game puts players into a simulated war. While many of these games are thought to be stressful and violent, research has shown that playing them can actually help reduce stress levels. Some researchers have also found that playing certain types of games can increase brain connectivity, and that gamers tend to perform better on a variety of cognitive tests.
Another benefit of gaming is that it can teach children how to solve problems and work with others. This is especially true for multiplayer games that encourage teamwork and cooperation. These games can be a great way for kids to build their social skills and work with their peers, whether they are playing on a computer or in person.
Games can also teach children how to set and achieve goals, which is an important skill for success in school. They can also teach children the importance of taking risks and trying new things, because they are often rewarded for their effort. And they can also teach children to be resilient, as they will likely have to face defeat in a game at some point.
In addition, games can help kids develop their attention spans. Because they require fast reaction times, they can help train the brain to pay attention for longer periods of time. In fact, a study by the University of Wisconsin in Madison found that students who were taught lessons using games had a higher level of retention than those who learned the same lesson through other means. And a game-based learning approach can also increase engagement by getting kids up and moving around, increasing their energy levels and focus! Find our teacher team’s favorite active games for the classroom here.