Video Games, Learning and Physical Health
Consider the following quote, “Games are widely used as educational tools, not just for pilots, soldiers and surgeons, but also in schools and businesses ... Games require players to construct hypotheses, solve problems, develop strategies, learn the rules of the in-game world through trial and error. Gamers must also be able to juggle several different tasks, evaluate risks and make quick decisions…. Playing games is, thus, an ideal form of preparation for the workplace of the 21st century, as some forward-thinking firms are already starting to realize.” 1 There is some evidence that supports this powerful statement. For instance, the National Institute on Media and the Family (see http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_effect.shtml) notes the following benefits of playing video games:
- Video game playing introduces children to computer technology;
- Games can give practice in following directions;
- Some games provide practice in problem solving and logic;
- Games can provide practice in use of fine motor and spatial skills;
- Games can provide occasions for adult and child to play together;
- Players are introduced to information technology;
- Some games have therapeutic applications with patients;
- Games are entertaining.
One article by the Associated Press quipped that, “All those years on the couch playing Nintendo and PlayStation appear to be paying off for surgeons.” The article goes on to explain that researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 % faster than their counterparts who did not play video games. 2 Similarly, the BBC news reported in May of 2003 that United States scientists have found that regular players of shoot-em-up games have much better visual skills than most of the population. The researchers have shown that gamers were particularly good at spotting details in busy, confusing scenes and could cope with more distractions than average. The two scientists also found that with a little game playing the visual skills of anyone can be improved. 3
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- First Grade Sight Words List