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Video Games Teach Children Independence

June 24, 2018

We all have been told we have to meet people where they are in order to communicate effectively with them and make a positive impact in their lives.  Well, that also goes for our children.  Today, our children are challenged, intrigued and entertained with Video and Mobile Games.  Unfortunately, some children are exposed to violent video games where the violence is geared towards criminal acts.  Stereotypes are perpetuated in many of them.  We all would love for these types of games to go away.  Unfortunately, you can’t control what is being created and sold in the market especially when they are popular and making money.   However, you can control what your children have access too.  As a parent, I know the value of monitoring and exposing children to positive tools that prepare them for the tech age and life skills as they grow and develop into adulthood.  As a parent, it is our responsibility to monitor and expose our children to positive, educational, fun and entertaining tools.  Yes, the educational system in our country has a part to play in educating our children and preparing them for a bright future, but we can no longer rely solely on the US educational system because of budget cuts, especially in urban cities and areas where minorities live and inferior and outdated educational practices exist.  What can we do? We can teach our children to become independent learners, thinkers and creators.  Children are naturally curious and want a challenge, but they need our help to direct that curiosity and energy to a place where they can learn positive things that will uplift them and encourage growth and development.  We need to encourage and guide them to independence.  Independence means better health and financial success.

Video games are becoming the next-generational learning tool for children.  A human interactive simulation game that includes virtual environments, such as B’Bop and Friends 3D World, is the future of education.  These type of games teach independence but also encourage and teach collaboration and team building with family and friends.  Video games that require a child to memorize tasks and events, enhances and improves a child’s creative thinking and problem solving skills.  Study shows children who play with interactive simulation games with virtual worlds perform better when tested on speed, accuracy and multitasking.  When families play these games together it encourages and provides a supportive platform for learning.

There are greater benefits achieved when children learn how to design video games.  This is where they learn how to teach themselves and become independent creative thinkers.  They learn how to take ownership and control of their ability to learn new concepts in order to reach their goal of completing their game.  This type of ownership and independent thinking and learning is a requirement in the STEM community.  This is the entry into learning all types of STEM skills. 

There are various STEM skills that can be learned from designing video games.  They are: Independent learning, creative and critical thinking, writing, computer programming(Coding), math skills, problem-solving, collaboration and learning to respect and appreciate others ideas. 

There are a few free programming environments on the internet for children to learn about computer programming and they can actually create their own video games.  The programs are introductory concepts that you and your children can learn together.  The programs teach game design methods at an elementary level.  Concepts and methods on computer programming(coding), animation and problem solving.  Please check out programs today!  They are listed below.  Don't forget to make it fun.  If you can't figure out something, take a break and pick it back up later or the next day...No stress.

Programs that teach you and your children how to create a video game

     Alice -  http://www.alice.org/
     Kodu -  http://www.kodugamelab.com/
     Scratch -  http://scratch.mit.edu/

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