In 2020, technology has only become more prevalent with the switch to online learning. New high-tech gaming systems like the PlayStation 5 entice bored kids and frustrated parents who’ll do anything to keep them entertained. Now, with in-person classes and other activities in jeopardy for the Fall, parents find themselves asking: how can I keep my kid social?
Video games might be a surprising answer. There is no question in my mind: yes, video games can be social (shocking, I know!). Parents with children fascinated by technology or who are just looking for an engaging way to entertain their children while still giving them a leg up, are increasingly turning toward gaming as an opportunity for keen developmental, social and even academic growth. Here’s why:
- Gaming creates complex thinkers
At its core, gaming demands high-level thinking and fast-paced decision making. The
repeated intense thought processing that goes on while playing video games challenges
children’s abstract thinking and even bolsters logical reasoning capabilities, especially as
players face different situations while observing the results of peers’ choices. Further, as
kids master new skills in their virtual gaming worlds, we see them beginning to meet
everyday challenges with the same enthusiasm towards learning.
- Gaming encourages a team-first mindset
Given societal associations between gaming and isolation, many are surprised to learn that gaming actually encourages children’s social skill development. Playing video games virtually connects children with peers, compelling collaboration and encouraging them to bounce ideas off each other while learning from peers’ mistakes. More critical than ever in this 6-feet-apart era, gaming also creates a sense of community which has proven essential in healthy childhood emotional development. While they can’t meet in person, building connections online can satisfy children’s need to interact and continue building their identities.
- Gaming bolsters academic development when partnered with coding
Several Phoenix programs, like iCode’s Pace Program and iSports Gaming League, harness children’s excitement towards gaming and translate their interests into real-world coding and computer science skills. Learning coding languages not only gives children a leg up in standardized exams and throughout their future career paths, it has also been proven to help children’s academic success jump – sometimes by up to two grade levels. Programs like these provide a way for children to learn technical skills crucial to the future workforce. And, they get to have some fun while fun doing so. How many hobbies can check that box?
It is critical to ensure children’s developmental milestones continue to be met during
these strange times. However, many parents are struggling to find ways to stimulate their
children both academically and socially from home. And, though some parents are still hesitant about increasing their children’s screen time, gaming has proved to be a riveting way to spark children’s curiosity and ensure they continue to grow.
By: Chase Eskelsen, iCode of Goodyear
iCode is a national computer science education franchise offering after school and summer
programs, equips children with the skills and knowledge to compete in today’s technological environment. Committed to quality and providing in-depth learning experiences, the brand’s proprietary curricula and several unique technology education programs set it apart in the fast-growing coding education space.