A kid plops down in front of the television and powers up his video game console. As he reaches for his controller, his mother has one point of view in her mind, more time wasted, another day wasted, video games rot my children’s brain. Or do they? Video games have a horrible stigma of “rotting our brain’s” because many believe that they are pumping our children’s minds with senseless violence and explicit content. Although many video games do include a substantial amount of violence, it comes second to the fact they can actually make you smarter according to many scientists and academics.
They are seen to be good learning devices because of the problem solving and strategic thinking that is utilized to play video games. While there is obviously no substitute for classroom learning, video games can exercise the brain in many different ways. Most kids would rather pick up a joystick than pick up a textbook. Much to they’re unknowing they are exercising their brains. While traveling and discovering this exciting virtual world, they begin to figure out the rules and understand their goals in order beat the game and win.
What might seem like a mindless zombie sitting on the couch for hours is actually someone solving a profuse amount of puzzles that are instilled in their video game. Someone playing a video game must solve and complete direct conflicts while keeping their overall goal in perspective. Playing a video game is similar to solving a science problem. Video gamers must come up with a hypothesis while trying to accomplish a goal, much like a student conducting a lab would do.
For example: if a gamer is searching for a hidden item and they hypothesize that the item is in a dragon’s belly, they will attack the dragon and discover whether their hypothesis was correct or false. If they don’t find the item they must modify their hypothesis the next time they play. Video games are driven by goals and objectives, which are essential for learning. Scientific studies have shown that the brain can change with practice. If you train yourself to complete a certain objective, the part of you’re brain that you are using can actually growth in size and operation. Another cientific study has shown that those who constantly challenge their brain have almost a 50% less chance of developing dementia. Video games are all about interactive and active exploration, unlike leisurely reading a novel. A video game requires your brain to make immediate decisions. While reading a novel will exercise your creativity and imagination, video games will make your brain weigh circumstances and evidence, examine situations, reflect on your overall goal and forge a decision. It is not about what you’re thinking about when playing a video game, it is the way your thinking that challenges your brain.
Video games make learning easier, comfortable, achievable and enjoyable. Any kid would rather learn how to slay a dragon than learn there times tables. This is simply because games offer more immediate and visible rewards. Memorizing and studying terms and theories may get you a good mark on your test, while beating the final boss will end the game. Gamers can also create their own adventure and decide their own unique fate and decided where they want to go and how they want to get there, within the restrictions of the game. It becomes their adventure.
This is all played from the safety of their home, which prevents fears of making a mistake in front of others. If they lose, they can simply restart and try again without the feeling of embarrassment. This encourages gamers to take risks and expand their exploration opportunities. Although video games are no substitute for classroom learning, they have beneficial outcomes that can improve our brains activity making it healthier and function more efficiently. So next time you contemplate purchasing a video game, think about it not as endless hours waiting to be wasted, but rather as a large time investment for better of your mind.
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