Sunday, July 27, 2014

Video gaming benefits studies

The researchers identified four types of positive impact that video games have on the kids who play them: cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social. Gameplay has cognitive benefit because games have been shown to improve attention, focus, and reaction time. Games have motivational benefit because they encourage an incremental, rather than an entity theory of intelligence. Games have emotional benefit because they induce positive mood states; in addition, there is speculative evidence that games may help kids develop adaptive emotion regulation. Games have social benefit because gamers are able to translate the prosocial skills that they learn from co-playing or multiplayer gameplay to “peer and family relations outside the gaming environment.”
Thinking about cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social skills reminds us that educators are not just responsible for the transmission of content and facts. Of course, this is one of the reasons that there is so much controversy over testing. Standardized tests measure only quantifiable outcomes. Educators, however, are also responsible for the non-quantifiable well-being of our students. Some of these skills are taken into account in some schools when folks talk about “character education.” But mostly, there is little curricular systematization in these areas. Still, teachers are accountable for conflict resolution and other interpersonal skills. Video games can help.

Granic, I. et al. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. American Psychologist, 69(1), 66-78.

Kids who play multi-player games online are more likely to have a positive attitude toward people from another country: 62 percent of online gamers hold a favorable view of people from different cultures compared to 50 percent of non-gamers. Unlike school, where the diversity of the institution is rarely reflected by individuals’ peer groups, interactive online gaming correlates with a more diverse group of friends.
Forde, K., & Kenny, C. (2014). Online gaming and youth cultural perceptions. Integration Centre.

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