Playing video games has often been shunned as a waste of time. Even worse, there is the ‘risk’ of addiction according to some experts. This implies that the gaming world is dark.

In whatever truth there is to that, there is another side to explore. Contrary to the apparent ‘dark side’ of playing video games, gaming has its advantages as listed in this article.

Builds problem-solving skills

Most video games are designed to get your kid to solve problems and some are complex requiring a lot of attention. The challenges range from puzzles, wordplay, riddles or even general knowledge. Open-world, mission-based, and multi-level games are designed like complex puzzles that take several hours to solve.

One long-term study by American Psychological Association published in 2013 showed that children who played strategy-based games showed an improvement in problem-solving skills and thus, tended to get better grades in the next school year.

With such kind of games, your child will develop a knack for solving problems all on his or her own. This skill in the real world sees your child become innovative and solve problems even in their school work.

Improve visual spatial processing

A group of 10 students who started out as non-gamers and then received 30 hours of training on first-person action video games showed a substantial increase in their ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space, compared to 10 non-gamers given the same test according to a study by the University of Rochester

Your child is able to view objects more clearly in cluttered spaces because of improved spatial resolution. Your son or daughter will be able to train his or her brain to see smaller details, because in each game, those details turn out to be important.

There are games set in 3D virtual worlds that you kid will have to navigate in and as a result this improves their visual-spatial skills.

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Improves social skills

The personality of the modern gamer has evolved from that of a shy-nerd to that of a confident and social cool kid. Gaming, while can still be viewed as an escape, is now a place for people to interact virtually due to access to online multi-player games. Such games require people to communicate especially while working in teams. In order to win, the team members have to give efficient instructions to one another.

The rise of multi-player experiences online has given way to a new form of socializing in which players work together to solve problems. But studies have shown games can also be the catalyst for friends to gather in person: roughly 70 percent of all players play with friends at least some of the time.

Up-lifts mood

Video games can improve your kid’s mood as it is good for relaxation. It can reduce levels of anxiety and therefore offers emotional benefits.  Moderate video game play has been found to contribute to emotional stability and reducing emotional disturbances in children according to a study by Liberty University.

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Develops creativity and imagination

When it comes to drawing, story-telling, asking questions and making predictions, kids who play video game perform better at related tasks.  Video gaming immerses your kid into some sort of alternate reality where they have to learn about new environment with every level or stage of the game.

This means that they have to adapt in order to find clues and make strategic decisions, improving their creativity and imagination ability. In one study, 12-year-old gamers were asked to draw, tell stories, ask questions, and make predictions. All the kids showed high levels of creativity and curiosity.

SEE ALSO: How to improve creativity in children

How to make TV time a family time
Watching television as a family has surprising positive effects. It brings the family together, it strengthens vocabulary, and in some cases, saves money that would have been otherwise spend on other entertainment options.

Playing video games like most activities has it pro and cons. It is proper to acknowledge its benefit alongside its challenges. With proper management, it can be a good tool for personal development.

End the year in style with the December issue of Parents Magazine
Radio presenter and actor Monique Angelyn and her husband, Richard Bett, grace the December cover talking all things music, parenting and their multicultural love story. The two reminisce on their five years in marriage and set the record straight on Buganda women stereotypes.