Learning opportunities in video games

Who would have ever thought that video games could improve the minds of those that play them?

Amid all the cool graphics, the fantastic music, and the intriguing plots, educational opportunities are abound, and in order to find them, one only needs to look at them a little closer.

Here are the positive sides of playing moderately video games- not more than one hour a day:

  1. Improve strategic thinking: Video games require players making a decision that is two or three steps ahead of a current situation. Players quickly learn the advantage of strategic thinking and they start to apply it to actual world opportunities.
  2. Problem solving: The same could be said about any game, but in the case of the video games it has been proven that they improve problem-solving skills. Most (if not all) games are centered around a problem and then challenge the player to solve it. In one game, a player may solve from three to a hundred or more different problems.
  3. Hand and eyes – coordination improvement: If you do not believe this, pick up a game controller and try to maneuver around the game. Manipulating a game controller requests the same skills that it takes to maneuver a mouse around a computer screen.
  4. Facilitate quick decision-making: The element of surprise is always around the corner and makes the games exciting to play. To win, players have to be able to make clever decisions within a very short amount of time.
  5. Feed the imagination: There are claims that video games, take away the imagination, as they apparentlysupply the mind with discouraging stimulation. This makes individuals to come up with a lack of decisions and solutions on their own. This is unlikely true if games are practiced moderately. The imagery in video games fuels the imagination and gives it a spring board to form new possibilities that might not have occurred otherwise.
  6. Encourage exploration: In role-playing games, players must find the beaten path and explore the unknown. They have to open doors without knowing what is behind them, they have to enter areas of the game without knowing the consequence and have to interact with characters that they have never met before. Inside these particular games, the opportunity to gather up the courage to explorer unknown territory is not just available, it is required.
  7. Enforce memorization: Strong influence on memorization is noticed in the terrain portrayed inside some of the games. Accessing the maps can be cumbersome and disruptive to the game and in order to compensate, gamers will not only memorize a large portion of the terrain, but they will remember the tasks required to get to specific areas.
  8. Teach consequence: All computer and video games operate with an “action – reaction” principle. Do something – the game will react. This opens a great opportunity to learn about consequence, whether this opportunity is experienced from a gamer’s point of view or a programmer’s point of view.
  9. Teach patience, dedication and endurance: No great game can be conquered in a day, therefore some of the best and most popular games take weeks or months to finish.

These are just some of the educational opportunities hidden inside video and computer games and after a closer investigation you can find more in addition to hours of fun and amazement.

Do not forget that like in any activity online, you do not have to overdo the activity of consuming the video game. Moderacy is the key to success and having the optimal benefits from the educational video games.

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