Video Games – More Than Just Entertainment?

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by Patrice on May 23, 2011 · 2 comments

in Games

What video games are your kids playing? They may be a lot more educational than you realize. Just because they are not promoted as an educational game doesn’t mean that the single mom has to worry that the kids are spending too much time with rubbish video games.

Watch the screen as the child plays the game and you may be surprised that the game chosen for its pure entertainment value is honing other real life skills. Even the simple role playing games where the child maneuvers the character through the days is teaching the child life skills.

If your child wants to use up their screen time playing video games like the Animal Crossing or Dream Life series of games, relax and let them enjoy it knowing that they are learning valuable skills that you didn’t even know that the games offered.

Money Management

Many of these games start out in the morning, and the child must obtain a place for the character to live. In order to pay for the shelter, the character must find or earn the currency the game uses. Furnishings, clothing and other items must also be purchased, found or bartered.

If the child does not have enough to pay for the purchase, many games offer the chance to sell something that they already have in their possession.

Prioritizing

Some kids like to spend their money on fancy housing, while others are more concerned about their wardrobe. For the child who likes the game because of the challenges of the competitions, there are plenty of those, but they all charge an entry fee.

Each player must determine what is most important to their enjoyment of the game and plan accordingly.

As the player goes through the game collecting items and currency, they find out that currency isn’t the only thing they need to accumulate possessions. There is limited space available to store purchases. There is also a limit to how much a character can carry at one time. In these situations, choices have to be made with some items left behind or sold.

Time Management

When one day is over, the next day begins. If the character has a job, it must be attended to before the character can go on to other activities. Some games require the characters to attend school during certain times of the day, leaving only a few hours for chores, homework, jobs, shopping and entertainment.

While video games don’t do anything to improve the child’s writing skills, reading and math ability is needed to meet the challenges of the game. The character doesn’t speak, so the written messages must be read for the child to play. Points and currency must be tallied to the child to properly plan and strategize.

A game doesn’t have to be promoted as educational to offer learning opportunities. Mom can relax with the games the child chooses to play as long as she has previously screened them for violence and gore. Just keep an eye on the clock, because the kids usually have to be reminded that they’ve been in front of the screen long enough and it’s time to get the body moving.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen May 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Games may be educational but you really do need to have them on a time schedule or else they will play all day which isn’t educational or healthy!

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Colleen May 31, 2011 at 6:30 am

I agree with Karen, it is fun but then it i s important to encourage our kids to have contact sport wherein they will move. It will help them be healthy, avoid obesity and promote socialization among peers .

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