Opinion: Why You Should Let Kids Play Games

Opinion: Why You Should Let Kids Play Games

6 2016

So I stumbled upon an article that says kids who play video games do better in life as adults. We’ve all read an article or two about how gaming is beneficial to kids or people in general as it helps develop hand-eye coordination, focus and problem solving skills among other things. Recently, a topnotcher has played StarCraft and DotA during his reviews for license exams and this helped him relax during his studies. I think we here at 30lives are living testaments to this as well, being efficient employees in our respective industries and being a well-rounded, popular, good-looking bunch. YEP.

As a potential parent in the next couple of years, why should we (also) let our future spawns play the vidya?

Gamers are more equipped in solving problems.

Baby: LOL noob
Baby: LOL noob

Aside from the story, what makes games fun is actually solving the “puzzles”. All games have an objective that you need to carry out to “win” it, whether it’s to rescue the princess from a fire-breathing oversized turtle, sneak around the city to escape hordes of flesh-eating zombies and get to safety, or solve mathematical problems faster than the 2P. Playing regularly helps hone skills that are very useful in life like decision-making, analysis, even data gathering and research (we were all weaned by the forums before GameFAQs, right?).

You can catch yourself sometimes writing down your formulae for the perfect vitality knight, complete with the stat-adding equipment complemented with the proper set of skills, right? Or maybe thinking of which spell sets to include in your 40-card deck during a Magic The Gathering Sealed Deck play tournament. This is actually high-level analysis and something that will definitely give your brain a good workout. Aside from giving birth to kick-ass knights or decks that can annihilate in four turns which can give you a sense of achievement, you have probably leveled up your analytical skill sets along with it as well.

Gamers are less likely to become assholes.

Kids who are really into video games have a better grip on reality. Aside from developing the useful skills that will help them become better equipped in the real world, they will have the right outlook on things as well as the social skills that will help them function as a better human being.

clubpenguin
Club Penguin’s predictive chat with pre-approved words.

Why do I say this? Gamers are more likely to be more intelligent as gaming is an engaging activity; gamers actually use a lot of their brain power to discern if something is right or wrong in certain circumstances. Unlike watching television, which is actually more of a passive activity that only lets viewers absorb content with very little interaction, gaming requires discernment and decision-making. There are also lots of social components to gaming. Kids as young as 4 even have opportunities to interact with each other in a safe environment like in Club Penguin where they are given presets of greetings and responses to be able to talk and play with each other.

Aside from that, there are game forums and hubs which promote interaction among members in discussing game lore, strategies and whatnot. This further stimulates social skills and thinking on the part of the gamer. Remember your perfect vit knight build? Posting it on a forum will most likely create a discussion — help you tweak your equipment, maybe put more skills that are better, which are all inputs from like-minded people.

Of course, there will always be flamebaiters, idiots or trolls who will not contribute to the discussion intelligently but will only accept their opinion as the ONLY THING THAT IS RIGHT, but at this point, you’ve probably learned how to counter or deal with them without being an idiot yourself.

Gamers are actually more grounded on reality.

Gamers will not stop learning things within the hobby. These enthusiasts will eventually be more involved in learning more about the actual industry and how gaming is really a business first. Gamers understand why things happen, why certain decisions are done, and why things work a certain way without shoehorning ideals and beliefs that actually do not fit in the real world. Things like market segmentation, psychographics and target market are understood by a gamer because it is anchored to real life and as strategies in business.

Also, gamers know that playing Call of Duty will not lead to shooting people in the head all of a sudden. There are underlying factors that lead to a particular action and that gaming is definitely not the sole cause of violence. Did you know that violent games are actually good stress relievers? Welp.

So should you let your kids play video games? Definitely. However, you should always be there to check and provide games that are age-appropriate. If you think that your kids can handle a bit more violence or M-rated content that is not recommended for their age group, then you should be able to talk to them about it and explain especially if they do not understand parts of the game’s story or mechanic. This will actually lead to openness that will help them think critically, understand things better and develop relationship better between you and your child.

And do you know what’s the best thing to do? Play the game with them. Get their ass handed to them from time to time. This will help them learn a lot of things about life at an early age. Believe me.

  • Joe

    Gamer dad here. My kid actually picked up the habit from watching me play hehe. I’d say she’s on her way to becoming a full-fledged gamergirl. Of course, schoolwork comes first.

    • Agreed! Good luck, and hopefully you can also let her play some of the classics as well!

  • Great post! Something to show my wife on why our kids will be playing video games!

  • Freddie Tan

    Games also teach kids that it’s OK to fail or lose, and that you should try again. Kaya nga may 30 lives eh. :) Failing at a particular point of the game forces you to retry other options. Losing to another person helps you learn how to lose graciously, so that you don’t alienate your playmates. :)

    Great article!

    • Yup, good point on building sportsmanship and being creative in solving problems!