Psychologists have confirmed the possibility of using video games for educational and therapeutic purposes. But what exactly is it, and what are the most suitable games for children’s cognitive development? Let’s find out together.

A gym for the mind

According to the latest psychology studies, video games are a natural training ground for the mind, capable of stimulating numerous cognitive resources such as memory, oculomotor coordination, attention, reasoning and multitasking thinking. And not only that: they can also serve as training for developing sociability. They help identify and name emotions that are often overlooked or ignored. Finally, they can increase empathy by stimulating users’ identification with the games’ characters by creating actual emotional states. For these reasons, video games are particularly suitable tools for the psychic

well-being of young people.

Not all video games are created equal

The effects depend on the type of video game you are using. Very different cognitive, emotional and social consequences can occur depending on the specific type, the age group to which the video game refers and the platform of use. For example, an action game can increase attention span, while casual games are much more effective for helping children and teens relax. Some video games have a more active user; others, on the other hand, are more passive.

The advantages of using video games for educational purposes

Learning with video games is much easier, as well as fun, especially for children who suffer from learning disabilities. The critical aspects concerning video games stressed for so long over the years have been essentially downsized: in reality, it is the use that the individual user makes of them that determines when the video game can serve as a valuable tool for personal well-being and when, on the other hand, it risks becoming harmful.

Matter of responsibility

Adults have the task of guiding the youngest towards an intended use of video games: parents and teachers can find in the gaming experience a beneficial ally in the growth and

training of the youngest. The important thing is to direct children and young people towards a positive and never excessive interaction of the gaming platforms. Playing together with young people can also help to strengthen the relationship and mutual understanding: the gaming world can be functional to create a new level of connection between adults and children.

In conclusion, at the international level, video games struggle to be accepted as severe educational tools because the frontal teaching model is still too strong. However, interest in using video games for mental health is constantly growing among clinicians and the general public. It is difficult, however, to identify a specific genre with a more excellent educational and creative function: how they are used often makes the difference.

The choice of the most suitable video games for each child or teenager and the teaching by adults of conscious and reasoned use can only benefit the well-being and training of the youngest.

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