Well, this is a very subjective question.
One of the many arguments is that a particular video game which might be educational for one child might not be educational at all to the other child.
But Hang On!
When people go into this debate they consider video games from the entire spectrum of categories these games fall into.
Strategy video games like “Civilization” or “Age of Empires” cannot be compared to violent games like “God of War” or “NARC”.
So what we can conclude with this is that if chosen properly, video can be definitely educational for children.
Let us now see how these video games can be educational.
To find this out we will have to answer the following questions:
- How Video Games teach children,
- What Video Games teach children and
- When Video Games teach children
How Video Games teach children
Every video game which can be educational has a particular method to deliver its learning to children.
We have to find out “How” that method works.
Games like “Civilization” teach children concepts of strategy building by having them build cities, while games like “Angry Birds” teach children about trajectory by having them demolish structures.
Any such game which delivers it’s learning without too much of fuss can be considered as educational.
But games like “NARC” in which player can drugs to kill the opponents cannot be educational. These games are more suited for people in the higher age group who are capable of differentiating between game play and real life.
What Video Games teach children
This is another important question to answer.
What exactly a particular video game teaches children?
Any game which teaches a subject or topic or enhances a skill can be considered as educational.
Games like “Zoombinis Logical Journey” teach mathematics without deviating from the game play. Or games like “Sims” teach about something about social life.
While games like “Grand Theft Auto” are all about achieving your goal with as much destruction as you want to create. Certainly not in the educational games category, though some might still argue this point of view.
When Video Games teach children
This is another point which we should be looking at. Some video games teach children something new throughout the game while some video games teach at the end of the game.
It’s a no brainer to guess which of these games will be more effective in teaching children something. Games which teach something to children at regular intervals are more effective in imparting knowledge than the ones which teach something at the end.
Classic example of these types of games are “Zoombinis Logical Journey” which teaches different concepts of mathematics at various stages of the game and games like “Need for Speed” in which the player figures out the various car settings which he should have done to win the race after the race is over.
If a particular video game is able to pass through these questions without much difficulty, you can consider it to be educational for children.
Apart from the above video games which require children to sit and play at one place, now-a-days we get many video games which make children do a lot of physical activity and thereby develop their physical skills.
Some examples of these types of games are sports related games available for Wii and PlayStation.
When it comes to children and video games, it is always recommended to let them play video games which would teach them something about a subject or topic or develop a particular skill in them.
To sum up this article let us briefly see the benefits of playing with video games:
- Helps in developing Cognitive Skills,
- Helps in developing Physical Skills,
- Helps in developing Strategic Thinking,
- Helps in developing Problem Solving Skills,
- Helps in developing Creativity,
- Helps in developing Innovative Thinking,
- Helps to enhance Memory and
- Helps to learn about different Subjects and Topics
After reading this article, you might have realized that video games can indeed be educational for children.
So the next time your child asks you to let him play a video game, allow him to do so. But just be selective in the type of video game he is playing.
In the next few articles we will bring to you the best educational video games for children available in the market today.
Till then we would like to hear your views if you have found video games to be educative for your children, and if yes, then which ones.
Let us know in the comments below.