A false ballance: on the pros and cons of video games

  In a recent article in the Hindustan Times (http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/BeyondBooks/Are-all-video-games-bad-for-kids/Article1-938399.aspx), the author wrote many positive things about the benefit of video games for kids;

“As the games and higher levels get more complicated, the player has to learn how to manage unforeseen obstructions and changing variables to reach the end objective.  Kids have to think fast and act even faster whether that means changing strategy, making quick analysis and reaching decisions.  It is fascinating how quickly children learn to recognize inherent patterns in games and work out the logical way of solving them.”

Unfortunately the same author went on to list some of the typical “downsides” of games as well,

“Too much game playing will make Jack a dull boy, for sure. Children who play video games endlessly are also likely to have less time for the other important tasks such as schoolwork, reading, sports etc.  There is also an obvious bad effect of addictive game playing on children’s health, including obesity, postural muscular and skeletal disorders and strained eyesight. ”

All of these “downsides” have been or are being mitigated by better games and better gaming practices.

Schoolwork:

Gaming can be part of schoolwork now that better educational games are being adopted inside and outside of the classroom.  Researchers have found that before high school, students gain little benefit from traditional homework.

Reading:

It could be argued that more kids are reading more because of video games than before.  They are not only reading more but composing more in online forums on their favorite games.

Sports:

With the advent of the Wii and other consuls with sensors, more and more games have been created that require players to exercise and have fun in the process.  Good riddance to traditional sports, where too often only the best players get any game time, while the rest of the team sits on the bench watching!
Games hold the promise of helping students to learn more, exercise more, and socialize more than ever before!

About Gaming and Education

Through my research, I have found that games are a powerful tool for learning for players of all ages. Last year I earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University. My dissertation was entitled - Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games. I have presented my research at the annual convention of the California Educational Research Association. In addition to teaching, I assist other researchers who are working in the field of games and Learning.

Posted on October 2, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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