Why You Should Encourage Gaming Why You Should Encourage Gaming  In this Article, we will shift to the reasons why you, as a parent, need to encourage your child to play educational games and to use the functionalities of online collaboration.

This article discusses the importance of games in a child’s growth and development. For the purpose of clarity, the reasons have been divided into three major groups: social, mental and intellectual. Each of these is further subdivided into smaller manageable points. It is to these that I now turn.

 

Social Reasons

It is virtually impossible for anyone to live alone and not interact with other people, even if such a person were mute. Communication is an important feature of human societies; it is the very basis of our organization into society. Through communication, ideas are exchanged, opinions weighed and preferred or dropped. The social reasons why you should encourage your child’s participation in online gaming related to the child’s interaction with others, and his or her participation as a member of society. It is the importance of social interactions that led to the development of social media, which now allow people of the most diverse origins to come together and interact, to compare and even form greater bonds that transcend their geographical and national borders.

 

Improves Social Interaction

One of the advantages of online gaming is that it improves social interaction among children and between children and older persons. Online gaming provides a common interest on which two people can interact. Realizing you and someone else plays the same game can be the beginning of a friendship, just as people who read the same type of book can get along more easily in conversations. Why? There is always something to talk about, ranging from the things they enjoy in the game to strategies and the things they dislike about the game.

 

Connections and Networks

A point closely linked to the first is the possibility of creating connections and maintaining a network of such. It should not be surprising that online gaming can bring your child new friends and acquaintances. These bonds may be sufficient reason for some people to prefer you, to some other, in instances where such persons have the liberty to choose as they wish. It can even go beyond personal relations and into business ones. For example, people who have an interest in a common game may decide to team up and start their own studio to design similar games. In fact, companies of young people that have earned quite amount of money have already been created in this way. Mental and cognitive reasons The second set of reasons why you should encourage your child to participate in online gaming can be put into the mental and cognitive category (i.e. relating to the development of his or her brain capabilities). In this regard, two benefits of online gaming come to mind and are discussed below.

 

Hand-eye Coordination

Our brains control most of the things our bodies do. To excel at certain activities, however, we must develop a pattern of action or some type of unnatural ability i.e. ability which we do not ordinarily possess from birth. A good example is driving or typing on the computer. In both of these cases, you need your fingers and eyes to work in perfect synchronization or else you might have to pay an ultimate penalty in the case of driving, or you might have to lose so much time from having to go back to correct typographical errors in the case of typing. 
However, engaging in activities that require the use of the hands and the eyes simultaneously will help improve just how much you can get these two important organs to work in sync. This is where gaming comes in. Whether online or offline, it can improve hand-eye coordination, although this is not true for all games. It is, however, true for most games that require the use of pads or joysticks.

 

Memory Enhancement

Some other types of games may not help improve your hand-eye coordination, but they are most certainly busy improving another important aspect of your cognition: memory. Memory is at the heart of our cognition. Not only does it define time itself but also communication. Our brain needs to be able to match the sound waves it’s receiving from the outside, with the familiar signs, and then call the meanings attached to such sound. For example, when you hear someone exclaim ‘Run, Fire!’ your brain has to process these two words and then kick you into action. It is, however, only able to do that because it has retained the meaning of those words. This same process goes for seeing, feeling, tasting, and more. In fact, intelligence, too, depends on having a good memory. 
Quiz Trivia and a host of board games are what come to mind when we speak of games improving memory. One of the reasons why we forget things is the low frequency of our interaction with those things. This is why you probably won’t remember most of what happens in the novel you read about a year ago. Quiz Trivia may trigger pieces of information here and there, and that way your brain tries to create the whole connection again. A host of other games are designed specifically to help strengthen the human capacity to recollect information. 
Intellectual Reasons Intellectual, in this case, means Hence, critical thinking, creative thinking, and a robust knowledge base.

 

Critical Thinking for Problem Solving

This is an intellectual activity that relies on the use of the brain to arrive at a sound judgment. Critical thinking may require research and possession of a knowledge base with which to compare and contrast ideas or opinions. It is the ability to reason logically and analytically, however, it is not something that we are born with. It is something that is taught or learned over time and with practice. 
Some games are specifically designed to teach this while others teach the skill incidentally. Consider chess. To be able to excel at the game of chess, you need to be able to think critically and analytically, to be able to anticipate the possible moves of your opponent and think up counter-moves for each possible move. Chess is not the only game in this category as there are other games (As strategy games or simulations) designed specifically to train the brain (or certain parts of it) to be able to smoothly achieve certain tasks.

 

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is quite different from critical thinking. This difference becomes clear when you understand that it is possible to score high on an IQ test and not be able to handle new situations. Yes, new situations! The keyword is new, or the idea of novelty. When someone can think creatively, then they can combine old ideas, related or unrelated, experience insights, and come up with something new. Creative thinking strikes at the heart of creativity, whether in the sciences or the arts. 
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the prominent figures in history to fully utilize creative thinking. Before he died, he left schematics for several new inventions without himself, in fact, designing a good lot of them. When later others followed his plans, the needed results were achieved. Creative thinking is what’s common to both Darwin and Babbage apart from the two having ‘Charles’ as their first names. 
Darwin saw a different pattern in the fossil records and came up with the theory of evolution. Babbage is regarded as the father of the modern computer, not because he designed a working model, but because he laid a plan and theory to follow that still works to date. Einstein’s story may not be very much different when his theory of relativity is considered.
Games can induce new insights, new ideas. Some games offer the possibility to create completely new games or levels (e.g. Game Maker, Construct, Game Salad, RPG Maker, Mario Maker, Unity 3D, and other engines, etc.). In fact, some games usually require you to think completely out of the box to arrive at solutions. Playing such games over some time may be just the needed practice for getting adept at a particular method of thought, and it may not be long before your child starts applying such a skill to real-life events.

 

Robust Knowledgebase

Knowledge, however, is the understanding of the content of information, and how the pieces, thereof, relate to one another. It is the clarity and clear awareness possessed about a situation or fact. You might be thinking Quiz Trivia is the only type of game that can help improve your knowledge base. There are learning games of all sorts, which improve knowledge, from crossword puzzles to business simulations.