The sky’s the limit when it comes to the variety of video games currently in existence. All too often parents hear negatives about playing video games, when in reality playing video games can actually bring a family closer. This article explores the nuances of playing video games as a family and discusses some of the mutual benefits of doing so.
Video games take on all forms, from the PC style to the new motion detection video game consoles. People of all ages play game apps on their cell phones, iPods, or iPads, and others have multiple game systems including the Xbox 360, the Wii, or the Playstation 3. These games are not a waste of time. Not only do people need fun in their lives, but other skills can also be developed while playing video games with others.
For example, Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR), and other role playing games (RPG’s) include a variety of relationship skills. To progress in the game’s story line and “level up”, characters must dialog with each other appropriately.
Tomb Raider, Puzzle Quest, Ratchet and Clank, Lego games, and Uncharted are fun, action oriented puzzle games. They teach skills similar to chess, planning moves ahead of time. They also involve solving riddles by looking at patterns, making matches, or buying supplies much like the age-old games of “Oregon Trail” or “Lemonade Stand”.
When parents get involved with their kids by playing these puzzle or action oriented video games, adults often approach game situations differently. Watching their parents approach a problem helps children to think outside the box in ways they would not have otherwise considered. They develop more logical reasoning skills, for example, by dialoguing out a strategy with an adult over a particular approach to a puzzle.
Children are not the only ones to gain by playing video games as a family. Adults can become more comfortable with technology. They also can feel more connected with their children and open another line of communication with them. Quite often lulls in the game provide excellent moments for a parent to ask their son or daughter about their day, and other moments generate mutual laughter.
All in all, video games are an excellent addition to a family. Granted, a family should not only play video games. They should remain active members of society, too, with a well balanced life. Yet, do not discount video gaming as a family simply by the rumors that sometimes appear on the news. In general, video games create a modern, unique opportunity for a family to bond – an essential element in all families.
Do you play video games as a family? What video games would you suggest playing together? Please leave a comment below!
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